Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fort Lee High School: Dedicated to the Power of Character

On December 13, 2011, I returned to Fort Lee High School to address 250 freshmen. The presentation titled Be a Person of Character: Change the World followed my previous character education events there:

Over 1,000 students from Fort Lee High School in Bergen County, New Jersey assembled on March 15-16, 2011 for a character development initiative titled The Power of Character: Rising Above the Storms. This was a follow up to the program previously presented at the school on May 10 and 11, 2010 titled Be a Person of Character: Change the World.

As the featured speaker for the program, aside from an honest assessment of concerns vital to American society including a head-on collision of a crisis of violence and character deficiencies, the tragedy in Japan as well as protests throughout the Middle East were presented. Character was emphasized as the necessary solution to the problems facing national and international concerns.

Concerns impacting American youth were also addressed including:

  • Bullying/Cyberbulling
  • The Impact of Divorce
  • Gangs, Guns, Drugs
  • Prescription Drug Abuse
  • Driving Under the Influence
  • Teen Suicides including Phoebe Prince, Jessie Logan, Megan Meier and Tyler Clementi
  • High School Dating Abuse/Toxic Relationships
  • Facebook/Texting/Email Conduct

Despite these issues, the students of Fort Lee High School were empowered with the message:

"You Have The Power To Change The World By Helping Each Other Do What Is Right."
This message was reinforced with a call to action as inspired by the writings of Rachel Scott, the first student killed at Columbine High School:
  • Eliminate Prejudice
  • Dare to Dream
  • Choose Your Influences
  • Kind Words
  • Start a Chain Reaction

The Power of Character was also encouraged by a review of various teens throughout the nation who contribute to society through their good example, community service and selfless dedication to others.

A special commendation is due to Principal M. Priscilla Church for her dedication to the students of Fort Lee High School, Teacher Carol Burghardt for coordinating this character initiative and the Fort Lee Education Foundation for their generous sponsorship.


Fort Lee High School Click here to visit site
Fort Lee Education Foundation Click here to visit site
America's Youth: Transforming the Nation through Character Click here to visit site

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