The Character Movement


A note to our community

We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police Officers. We send our deepest sympathies to the Floyd family and join with our nation in grieving his death.

Youth Frontiers stands with individuals, organizations and communities around the nation in denouncing the ongoing killings of Black Americans whose lives have been unjustly taken. We believe that Black lives matter. 

For too long our society has not focused enough on the violence and oppression against people of color. We must do something to end this injustice.

For over 30 years, Youth Frontiers has inspired character values in over 2 million young people in an effort to create better schools and communities. Our Manifesto speaks to the importance of character in the midst of the inequality and injustices we must overcome as a nation.

Character matters. It’s what motivates a person to be a force for good. It’s what moves a person to make responsible decisions despite their fears. It’s what leads a person to realize that they matter, that others matter and that everyone’s actions matter.

Youth Frontiers recognizes we need to do more. In the days and years to come, Youth Frontiers will do better to serve all our communities by expanding our work around diversity, equity, and inclusion. As an organization, we are stepping up to serve our community. That is why our staff is committing to weekly community service this summer focused on organizations that support communities of color.

Youth Frontiers will continue to challenge ourselves and help our next generation create a community where the opportunities and principles of our nation truly are for all.


What the Dalai Lama can teach us about character.

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” – The Dalai Lama

I was recently speaking to a friend who was sharing with me in a moment of vulnerability that he just can’t do it all. He feels he is “failing at everything right now” — being a dad, husband, employee, etc. He is not doing anything well — or at least at the level he expects of himself.



What Steven Covey can teach us about character.

“Begin with the end in mind.”– Steven Covey

My 19-year old niece, Victoria, adopted from Russia at age 7, loves to watch the show CSI. She wants to work in criminal justice someday. She is currently in the law enforcement track at Normandale College and hopes that one day she will wear the uniform of a law enforcement agent.

Steven Covey, author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, describes people like Victoria who set a goal and do the necessary things to get there. His Habit Twobegin with the end in mind – describes the ability to envision in your mind what you cannot at present see. If you don’t make a conscious effort to visualize who you want to be and what you want, then you let other people and circumstances shape your life by default.
This idea – begin with the end in mind – can be applied to our current situation as we shelter in place during the pandemic. It forces us to take a different perspective.



What Bob Marley can teach us about character.

“Don’t worry about a thing … cause every little thing is gonna be alright.” — Bob Marley

I remember the day, nine years ago, we took my father, who had struggled for three years with Alzheimers, for a short-term stay at the hospital. His care had grown beyond the scope of my 78-year-old mother. This change put my family in high-stress mode and there was much to worry about.

During admittance, the nurse asked my father the standard question, “Is there anything dangerous in your house?” Without missing a beat, my father answered, “Yes. My wife’s cooking.” My dad, sensing the gravity of the situation, never lost his sense of humor. He looked at me and said, “Don’t worry, Joe. Everything will be alright.”