Character Development, LeadershipIn order for a student to resist the pressures and negative influences in their lives, they need to have a strong internal compass. That compass is their character. Risk avoidance depends on that internal moral guide that leads them to make decisions that will positively impact their futures as well as the people around them. Just Say YES speakers encourage character development in every school program.

Henry David Thoreau said, “Dreams are the touchstones of our character.” At Just Say YES, we realize the importance of helping teens focus on their dreams and goals to enable them to say no to risk behaviors.

Just Say YES teen character development programs provide positive messages encouraging teens to be young men and women of integrity and perseverance. They are encouraged to do the right thing, because it is the right thing.

What is Character?

Character is what motivates a person’s thoughts and actions. It is the inner self made up of personality traits. It is also taught. Students learn character development through example and education. We want to grow teens with strong character that will help them build a successful future.

Good character includes certain characteristics – a strong sense of morality, integrity, honesty, responsibility, and a willingness to stand up for others. Poor character is typically seen as the lack of these characteristics.

Character manifests itself in conduct. Conduct is not the same as character, but it reveals character. Teens with strong character are better able to avoid risk behaviors. Their internal compass helps them navigate away from things that might harm them or others.


“A leader is a dealer in hope.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Leadership is the next step. We believe every student has the potential to be a leader. When high expectations are placed on students with strong character, they rise to the occasion and can become highly influential forces for good in their schools.

Leadership greatly improves a teen’s self-esteem. It gives them the skills to express themselves well and discuss issues that are important to them. It gives them skills that they will need when they enter the job market.  Young leaders demonstrate higher career aspirations, increased self-esteem, and improved high school completion rates.

After parents, peers have the greatest impact on a teen’s life. When these teen leaders focus on helping other students through their social influence, they can change a campus. Leaders provide a good example for their peers through taking responsibility for their words and actions, overcoming their own failures and mistakes, and helping others.

What we do…

Book a Just Say YES character development/leadership program at your school. Each of our speakers integrates their own personal stories into their messages to give students the challenge and the example for developing strong character. Contact a program coordinator to find out which speaker will best connect with your unique student population. Also, take a look at our STARS Peer-to-Peer Mentoring program for the Dallas/Ft. Worth area to find out more about how we can partner with your school to train upperclassmen as leaders for younger students in your school district.