Character is Foundational to Reaching Full Potential

Katie L. Martin
Riverside Prep’s Character Development program equips the corps of cadets with the tools needed to reason morally and think critically. The program uses interactive lectures to extend the lessons implicitly taught through the curriculum and cadet life and to provide examples of ethical behavior in real-life contexts while setting the standard for behavior.

Elijah Merrett, Director of Teaching and Learning and the coordinator of the program, said, “As a former classroom teacher, I understand the importance of engagement for the message to stick, so I’m incorporating ‘cadet on the street’ interview videos, live Q&A, and other delivery methods designed to keep the conversation going.”

The Character Development program results in a community whose members actively mentor one another and creates opportunities for boys to think, discuss, and apply ethics and values in a mature, reasoned way. “The theme of this semester’s sessions, corresponding to the Army Core Value of Selfless Service, is: You’re Not Always the Main Character. We have applied this theme to sessions such as theater etiquette, self-denial, and actively seeking positive influences. I’m especially looking forward to our April session on ‘How to Apologize,’ as well as hosting several guest speakers from across campus,” Merrett said.

Through Riverside’s Character Development initiatives, cadets become increasingly aware of the impact of their words, deeds, and commitments on themselves and their brothers. In this way, they bring mindfulness of action into accord with their high sense of values.