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The definition of friendship

By Patty Beadle, Youth Frontiers’ Director of External Relations

We’ve talked a lot about “seeing the other more completely” at Youth Frontiers for the past year, but the crux of this idea is not new to us. Like all of our annual themes at YF, “seeing the other” is just another way to approach our mission to build positive communities. There is one type of community I’d like to focus on right now: friendship.READ MORE

YFLC Group of students laughing together in front of a youth frontiers banner

I will lead.

“I am a leader.” On paper, it’s a simple phrase. Spoken aloud by hundreds of 11th-grade students from schools across an entire community, it’s deeply moving.

At any Youth Frontiers Leadership Conference (YFLC), the air reverberates with these declarations of character. All students in attendance are there because an educator saw leadership qualities within them. But they are also there for greater reasons: to connect with students they may otherwise only encounter through competition, to build positive relationships, and to develop strategies for improving their schools at this key time in their high school careers.READ MORE

Hannah Merlo going down head first down a slide on a playground

Wisconsin Character Award Winner – Hannah Merlo

Each year, the Youth Frontiers Character Award honors students who stand out as exceptional leaders among their peers. During the 2016-17 school year, we honored two students with this award including Hannah Merlo, who at the time was a senior at Waterford Union High School.READ MORE

Samantha HoangLong Headshot

Minnesota Character Award Winner – Samantha HoangLong

Each year, the Youth Frontiers Character Award honors students who stand out as exceptional leaders among their peers. During the 2016-17 school year, we honored two students with this award including Samantha HoangLong, who at the time was a senior at Burnsville High School.READ MORE

quote saying: if we're going to find our way back to each other, we have to understand and know empathy. brene brown

Empathy: how to raise kids who care

By Erin Walsh, Mind Retreat Facilitator; Mind Positive Parenting

“I’d like you to close your eyes,” I often say at workshops that I facilitate across the country. “Now visualize the kind of adults you hope your children become.”

I add that I am not interested in them conjuring up logistical visions, for example, where they hope their children go to school or the kind of job they hope they get. Instead, I ask them to think about the character traits they hope their children have as adults.

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children sitting on a couch with a dog showing just their legs

Family meetings help promote values

By Sarah Aadland, Doing Good Together

Even when you’re doing your best to keep things simple, family life can be full at best. Too often it’s downright frazzled and unruly. Most weeks, it feels as though my family is racing in too many directions. And we’re not alone.

I catch the knowing, what-have-we-signed-up-for smiles from other parents during pick-up and drop-off times. Someone I know shares one of those meme’s touting all of the reasons dance or soccer or whatever is worth the time and sacrifice. The truth is, we all have different thresholds of feeling busy and overwhelmed.

My own family met ours this fall. And we made a few tweaks that lightened the load. The most useful tool we adopted was the weekly family meeting.

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Nominate a high school junior or senior for the 2024 Minnesota Character Award for a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship!

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