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Students all over are showing the importance of generosity with their time and energy. And adults are empowering them. See what Fort Dodge did to encourage their students. Can you do something similar in your schools or community?

On April 30, four students from Fort Dodge received a Pay It Forward Character Award. Nearly 300 people showed up at the First Presbyterian Christian Life Center to recognize 76 individuals who wrote an essay about character.

Students recognized were nominated by teachers and youth group leaders. Each nominee received a letter inviting them to submit an essay on what character means to them and how they live the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. In addition, each student chose a charity that was important to them and was given the opportunity to pay it forward.

“Two things really jumped out at me when reading the essays,” Bunte said to The Messenger. “DTRT -Do the right thing -and the three I’s -Integrity, Innovation and Impact. Everyone talked about how it felt so good to know you helped.Taking action and doing the right thing is often difficult.”

The winning essays all related to how each student was making a noticeable difference in their schools and communities as a whole. Students of all ages are understanding what good character means and their classmates are engaging in a lifestyle that reflects it. We’d love to hear what your community/school does to make a difference!

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