Character in Real Life - One-Minute Testimonials

INITIATIVE – A One-Minute Testimonial Announcement

Faith Committee, Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky


Contributed by John F. Pierce
Character Council Faith Committee Chairman, Cincinnati, OH

November 8, 2001


Sam Yates, Jr. is principal of Woodward High School and a member of New Life Temple Church in Cincinnati. Woodward High is a predominately Afro-American high school of about 900 students. New Life Temple is a predominately Afro-American church of approximately 650. The church includes extensive biblically-based character training in its four-year member class. And in its racially integrated community, New Life Temple has a long history of leadership in initiatives to build the community socially, spiritually and economically.

Sam is a good example of this initiative in his school. In February Sam took the initiative to attend the first all-day character workshop offered for educators by the Character Council on the community-wide initiative to encourage citizens to practice the monthly character qualities. He took back to school the information received (How to Create a Culture of Character), and began passing out information on how to establish a school based on character and putting in the daily school bulletin the operational definition of character qualities.

(Ironically, the Sunday after the workshop his church began including five to ten minutes on the character quality of the month in each Sunday service; it had become one of the model “Churches of Character” in the city. Sam is encouraged each Sunday morning by these character emphases, and by the commitment of his church to the community-wide character initiative.)

This fall Sam and a colleague, Mr. Tucker, ordered and presented to each staff member of Woodward High School a copy of the book Achieving True Success and the pocket-size character folder. In addition, Sam invited Iris Cole of the Character Council to talk with the staff about character and its initiative in schools. Meanwhile, he printed character qualities in the annual school planner given to each student, and set up bulletin boards emphasizing character in two major thoroughfares. Now during the morning intercom announcements to students and staff a message is included encouraging practice of the character quality of the month. This month an essay contest is being initiated to award a prize to the student submitting the best essay on the character quality of the month. Each Monday morning before school starts Sam leads a voluntary prayer time for staff members which includes a focus on character. Says Sam, ” Everybody is making a conscience effort to work on these qualities. The atmosphere is totally different this year. I know character counts.”

What effects the initiative of one individual can have on many!



This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.