Teaching Character

Character Lab Research Director, Andrew Sokatch, has a sobering yet attainable message regarding the education of today's youth. While test scores and the reading, writing, math, science behind them are important, we are not properly and wholly educating our children if we aren't also teaching character. Andrew argues character can and should be taught in schools, noting grit, persistence, self-control, courage, and humor, are all critical life skills for successful employment, marriages, and citizenship.

Read More

Why My Family Started the Bucket Challenge

When 27-year-old Pete Frates injured his wrist in a baseball game, he got an unexpected diagnosis: it wasn’t a broken bone, it was ALS. Better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS causes paralysis and death—there is no cure. And still, Pete saw an opportunity to drive awareness about the disease. In a brave talk, his mom Nancy Frates tells the story of how the family developed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and took great pleasure in seeing everyone from Justin Timberlake to Bill Gates take part.

Read More

Does Education Kill Creativity?

In this TedTalk, Sir Ken Robinson discusses how the current education system deters creativity. Children are not frightened of being wrong, until taught to be. He claims that education, in its current form, makes students scared of making mistakes which then prohibits their ability to innovate. We don’t grow into creativity, but rather, get educated out of it.

Read More




Making a word play off parking “validation”, this video exemplifies the power of verbalizing your appreciation for people. Everyone loves to be validated and feel appreciated. A man working at a parking garage gives people parking validation and compliments. The validation man finally encounters one woman he cannot make smile which drastically changes his attitude. He continues to make the people around him smile ultimately meeting the life of his life.


  • How do you see the need for acceptance and validation in your school affect people’s actions and behaviors in school? What are some signs you can look for to spot this?
  • Why does the line for validation get so long?
  • How can you maintain a positive attitude amidst discouragement?
  • Describe the effects of spreading encouragement.

Be A Man

Joe Ehrmann describes how destructive the three words “be a man” are within the American culture. Ehrmann explains three main lies of masculinity pertaining to athletic ability, sexual conquest, and economic success. None of these things determine what it means to be a man. He also explains the effects of telling men to not emote.

Read More

Wright's Law: A Unique Teacher

This New York Times video follows the story of Mr. Wright, a high school science teacher.  He strives to create a positive environment, keeping in mind the rough home lives students may have. He creates interactive, unique lesson plans, while also acting as a confidant to many students. Students speak of how he teaches them lessons to genuinely succeed in life, rather than just “Newton’s third law”.

Read More

Why We Do What We Do

Tony Rollins discusses what influences people in their decisions. He believes emotion is the force of life. He credits emotion for the instances when people make decisions not in their self-interest. He unpacks the question of “What is it that shapes us?” He also explains the six essential things humans need: certainty, uncertainty, significance, intimacy, to grow, and to contribute beyond ourselves. How we live depends on which of the elements drives us most.

Read More

How Great Leaders Inspire Action

In this 18 minute Ted Talk, Simon Sinek explains the importance of starting with the “why” using Apple, Martin Luther King Jr, and the Wright Brothers as examples. He begins with the golden circle model, which is  used to determine how people inspire. Comprised of three circles in one, it represents how people attempt to inspire. Working from the inside out, the circles are labeled as why, how, and what. While most companies, initiatives, groups, and people focus on WHAT they do, the WHY is constantly overlooked. It is the why, however, this is vital to inspire others. Sinek explains that “people don’t follow what you do, but why you do it.” The resulting action is merely proof of your belief.

Read More