Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Dreams DO become Reality - with commitment!

Today a dream is becoming a reality for Character Counts! in Jacksonville.

We are launching a youth forum in collaboration with The Self Movement. The primary goal of the forum is to teach high school students the skill of collaboration. 

We are partnering with Duval County Public Schools to create a youth forum that will initially teach collaboration skills but ultimately look to our youth to help solve some of the challenges we face as a community. 

The kickoff today is the "Beta" test. The forum is intentionally designed to give voice to the students. We have created the day with a huge amount of trust in the belief that our students are capable of great thinking. The structure of the three hour session is intentionally loose and open to see where the students curiosity and intelligence will lead us.

Bill Bade, the Executive Director of The Self Movement, the brains behind the idea, invited CCINJAX to the table to ensure the forum was grounded in character and ethics. We will explore the Six Pillars of Character at the opening of the session and will use them as the basis of how we come together as a forum.

The problem we are asking the students to solve this morning is to create a scholarship fund process. The Self Movement is bringing a chunk of money to the table that the students will help decide how the money is granted to one or several DCPS students. 

This highly unique approach is potentially risky, yet we have faith in the process of collaboration. We are resting in our capacity to create an environment that is based on the 6 Pillars, trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. 

So why are we saying this is a dream come true today? Well, two years ago when I came to the world of Character Counts, I pulled together such a forum. I had never run a non-profit and knew that my sphere of influence could advise me. We gathered together in a very similar fashion and brainstormed where Character Counts needed to go. 

We spoke about creating a sustainable organization that brought the conversation of character and ethics across our community in creative and engaging ways. We set the goal that we would be "invited" into the schools. We believed that by virtue of being invited, it would create a more meaningful and potentially lasting relationship. 

Today is the result of a great deal of hard work to foster meaningful relationships with like minded individuals and organizations across our community. We are blessed to have the chance to partner with Bill and his team and look forward to meaningful experiences with the bright minds of our community!

We will keep you up to date on the results and will work to engage more of you in this collaboration as it evolves.

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