kindness Tag

I remember students named Jared & Claire

At Youth Frontiers, it’s our mission to positively impact school communities through our retreats. One of the more wonderful parts of our job is that the same students we reach often impact us in turn. For our staff, these students and their stories are unforgettable. In this series, we remember them.


This year, on The Character Movement, we are trying something new. We’ll be delving into one of our retreat values each month, examining it on our blog and in our Character Challenges. This month’s theme is kindness.

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A Kindness Challenge

My kindness challenge began with a gift. My best friend in college was always big on journaling, so when I hinted that I wanted to try to keep one, she eagerly picked a journal out for me as a present for my following birthday. The journal didn’t just have blank pages but instead began each week with a prompt, a sort of challenge to work on every single day that week.

When I opened this book, I didn’t start from the beginning (because that would be too easy I guess) but instead flipped to a random week in the middle with the challenge: “Say something kind or do something kind for a complete stranger every day this week.” On the bottom of each page, there were a few lines to write down the random act of kindness.

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Community — It's about all of us

It’s about all of us

At Youth Frontiers, we unabashedly challenge kids to make our world better. And every day, we get to witness students stand up and lead with character — students like Maple Grove seventh grader, Eve Miller.

Eve wanted to bring four Courage Retreats to her school because her class has been grappling with bullying. She worked hard to raise the funds by reaching out to family, friends and community members.READ MORE

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A shelf grid of many Russian nesting dolls

Show Students Who They Could Become by Accepting Their Full Selves

By Justin Minkel

My mom is a play therapist and a miracle worker. Her secret power sounds simple: She absolutely accepts children as they are. Not as their teachers, classmates or parents wish they would be. As they actually are — in all their turbulent, disruptive, exasperating glory.

The children she works with throw rocks, scream in class and bite the other kids. When they throw rocks at her, she says, “You are really strong to be able to throw those rocks so far!” When they scream as loud as they can, she says, “That’s amazing that you can get out all your anger like that. I wish I could do that!”

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Unleashing the Power of Positivity in your School

A positive community of educators within a school has a powerful effect on the students who learn there. Individually, teachers contribute to that positive environment by exhibiting and modeling an optimistic outlook and can-do attitude. An understanding of the role that emotions play in learning can lay the foundation for positive and productive interactions with students, colleagues, administrators and parents. As neuroscientist Richard Davidson explains in his book “The Emotional Life of Your Brain,” “Emotion works with cognition in an integrated and seamless way to enable us to navigate the world of relationships, work, and spiritual growth.”
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keepers family

Love Is An Action

By Cheri Keepers, Youth Frontiers School Relations Representative

“When your child walks into a room, does your face light up?” – Toni Morrison

I have always loved this Toni Morrison quote. It reminds me of my favorite teachers and camp counselors who helped me be my best self by wholeheartedly liking me for exactly who I am. The simple way they remembered my name and connected with me through conversation and humor reminded me that I mattered.READ MORE

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Parenting Together

By Joe Cavanaugh, Founder & CEO

Jane and I have been married for 15 years and have raised a child together for ten. While there are countless values we share, equally important are the ways we have handled areas where we differ. Navigating these disagreements has been an ongoing process and a constant parenting rub. READ MORE

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