America’s Rising Stars 

“There is perhaps no more important and urgent challenge before us than developing the character and leadership capabilities of our young people. The world in which they live is more competitive, temptatious, materialistic, and dangerous than ever before... and all indications are that those trends will continue to accelerate. Traditional education models were never designed to address these situations or crucial developmental elements in a manner that is both meaningful and sustainable. 

As a nation we need to change that... and we intend to lead the way."

Michael J. Harbaugh - Founder & President, Center for Continuous Improvement



CCI’s Youth Leadership Mission:

To contribute to the young people of America that which will help them grow in ways that continuously move them in a positive direction.





"It is in youth that we plant our chief habits and prejudices; it is in youth that we take our party as to profession, pursuits, and matrimony. In youth therefore the turn is given; in youth the education even of the next generation is given; in youth the private and public character is determined; and the term of life extending but from youth to age, life ought to begin well from youth; and more especially before we take our party as to our principal objects.”  

                                                                                    -- Benjamin Franklin



The KASH Box





Rising Stars


A self-directed process preparing youth and young adults for a future of excellence and success.


Executive Overview


The Rising Stars program has been designed to help today’s young adults develop their personal leadership and character.  Leadership is essential in enabling youth to develop character, confidence, and values that promote the goal of healthy behavior. Character development is also critical for our youth as they encounter continuing challenges during their adolescent years.   Research has shown that a majority of American youth have engaged in health compromising behavior. In her pioneering book, Adolescents at Risk, Joy Dryfoos concluded that half of all ten to seventeen year olds were at high or moderate risk of undermining their chances for a healthy life because of substance abuse, unsafe sex, teen pregnancy, school failure and delinquency, crime, or violence.  More importantly, a recent report from the American Medical Association captured the importance of this conclusion: “For the first time in the history of the country, young people are less healthy and less prepared to take their places in society than their parents.  Moreover, this is happening at a time when our society is more complex, more challenging and more competitive than ever before.”


Additionally, in her research report, Workforce 2020: Work & Workers of the 21st Century, Dr. Carol D’Amico discovered that employers grouped leadership as one of the essential skills entry-level workers lacked.  This group of skills included strong work ethic, problem solving, and creativity, along with organizational and interpersonal skills. These skills were ranked ahead of writing, math, reading, and job specific skills.


Rising Stars is in part based on recognizing the Search Institute’s forty developmental assets, experiences, opportunities and internal capacities (see appendix A) essential for health and success in our complex society. Search Institute is an independent, nonprofit, nonsectarian organization located in Minneapolis, Minnesota whose mission is to advance the well being of adolescents and children by generating knowledge and promoting its application.  Search Institute and Rising Stars believe if our society would invest more in developing the positive approach that young people need, we could expect higher yields (in terms of youth behavior) as young people become healthy, contributing members of families, communities, workplaces, and society.


Rising Stars is an innovative and unique inside-out development process that focuses on the four critical elements that promote personal leadership and character, healthy behaviors, and the skills employers identify as essential. These elements are; developing ATTITUDES; developing interpersonal SKILLS; increasing KNOWLEDGE; and developing GOAL-achievement skills. 


The process typically begins by developing positive attitudes among the participants about themselves and the INFINITE POSSIBILITIES that exist for them.  Attitudes will directly determine in many cases whether a student turns a problem into an opportunity or succumbs to it.  Interpersonal skills, when combined with increased knowledge and goal setting behavior, enhance the ability of youth to assess the impact of their present behavior on their current and future success.


Rising Stars has been field tested in an urban comprehensive high school, a middle school, a non-public special education program; a church youth club and a community based program for adjudicated youth.  Through trial and error, since the spring of 1996, invaluable information was gained on how to structure a youth leadership program and what essential components are need to make it a measurable success.  (The foundation of this youth leadership process was a successful 20 year adult leadership process that has impacted thousands of adults across the United States.)


These necessary components include; relevancy (taken from the need analysis), Action Plan (goals based on measurable objectives), reinforcement (the action plan, the facilitation and the alumni who share their experiences and help overcome obstacles) and most importantly, repetition (consistent with positive reinforcement from facilitation, the text, and tapes).


The Rising Stars process contains all of these components along with the innovative learning strategies of; self-directed learning where participants take responsibility for their own personal improvement; constructivism where facilitation recognizes how to shorten the learning curve and collaboration/team learning activities that support educational research.


To conclude, developing personal leadership and character are critical factors in bringing today’s youth into society and the workforce as healthy, productive contributors. Rising Stars’ proven process instills these behaviors along with an additional return on investment through prevention and reduction of risk behavior.



Rising Stars and the Eleven Principles of Character Education


Rising Stars approaches character education through the ABC model.  Many programs attempt to affect performance change by beginning with behaviors.  The ABC model begins with the Attitudes that drive the Behaviors that create the Changes in character. This process is readily aligned with the eleven principles of Character Education as published by the Character Education Partnership.


Rising Stars also recognizes the significance of the facilitators applying the same concepts.  Therefore, supporting material and services are available to assist local individuals who wish to facilitate this inside-out approach to youth character and leadership development.


Character development does not end after completing the customized facilitation part of the process.  Through the creation of the Alumni Association, Rising Stars graduates have new opportunities from meeting with community leaders to becoming future co-facilitators.


Principles of Character Education

Rising Stars effectively addresses the 11 principles of Character Education through the text chapters (TC), the Action Plan (AP), the Rising Stars Alumni Association (RSAA) and the Facilitation Support Material (FSM) as follows:


1. Character education promotes core ethical values as the basis of good character. – TC: 1-14; AP: Mental, Social, Physical, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs


2. “Character” must be comprehensively defined to include thinking, feeling, and behavior. – TC:  1-14; AP: Mental, Social, Physical, Career & Financial, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs


3. Effective character education requires an intentional, proactive and comprehensive approach that promotes the core values in all phases of school life. – TC: 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14; AP: Mental, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs; FSM.


4. The school must be a caring community. – RSAA; FSM


5. To develop character, students need opportunities for moral action. – TC: 1, 3, and 4. 5, 7, 9, 11-14; AP: Mental, Social, Career & Financial, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs


6. Effective character education includes a meaningful and challenging academic curriculum that respects all learners and helps them succeed. – TC: 1-14; AP: Mental, Career & Financial, Ethics & Beliefs; FSM


7. Character education should strive to develop students’ intrinsic motivation. – TC: 1-14; AP: Mental, Social, Physical, Career & Financial, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs


8. The school staff must become a learning and moral community in which all share responsibility for character education and attempt to adhere to the same core values that guide the education of students. – RSAA; FSM


9. Character education requires moral leadership from both staff and students. – TC: 1-14; AP: Mental, Social, Physical, Career & Financial, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs; RSAA; FSM


10. The school must recruit parents and community members as full partners in the character-building effort. RSAA; FSM


11. Evaluation of character education should assess the character of the school, the school staff’s functioning as character educators, and the extent to which student manifest good character.  TC: 1-14; AP: Mental, Social, Physical, Career & Financial, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs; RSAA; FSM


Rising Stars Youth Leadership Process and Legislative Requirements


Rising Stars not only recognizes the Search Institute’s research and effective learning strategies, but addresses specific requirements of State of Indiana’s legislation IC20-10.1-4-4.5, U.S. Department of Education, Federal Workforce Investment Act and PEPNet criteria.  The Rising Stars curriculum provides a strong foundation for leadership, character and citizenship education that many governmental agencies currently have incorporated into their policies and programs.


State of Indiana

Rising Stars effectively addresses the 13 components of State of Indiana legislation IC20-10.1-4-4.5 through the text chapters (TC) and Action Plan (AP) as follows:

1. Honesty & truthfulness – TC: 1-14; AP: Mental, Social, Physical, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs

2. Respecting authority – TC: 4, 10, 11, 13, 14; AP: Mental, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs

3. Respecting property of others – TC: 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14; AP: Mental, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs

4. Personal best – TC: 1-14; AP: Mental, Social, Physical, Career & Financial, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs

5. Not stealing – TC: 1-7, 9,10, 11, 13-14; AP: Mental, Social, Career & Financial, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs

6. Conflict resolution – TC: 1,3, 4, 7, 10, 11-14; AP: Mental, Social, Career & Financial, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs

7. Personal responsibility – TC: 1-14; AP: Mental, Social, Career & Financial, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs

8. Career responsibility – TC: 1-14; AP: Mental, Social, Career & Financial, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs

9. Positive treatment of others – TC: 1-4, 6, 7, 9-14; AP: Mental, Social, Career & Financial, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs

10. Respecting National Flag, U.S. and State Constitutions – TC: 1, 3, 4, 7, 9-11, 13-14; AP: Mental, Social, Career & Financial, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs

11. Respecting family & home – TC: 1-14; AP: Mental, Social, Career & Financial, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs

12. Respecting one’s self – TC: 1-14; AP: Mental, Social, Career & Financial, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs

13. Respecting rights of others – TC: 1-14; AP: Mental, Social, Career & Financial, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs


U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education in their Office of Educational Research and Improvement: Fund for Improvement of Education—Partnerships in Character Education Pilot Projects has designated 6 areas for youth leadership development.  Rising Stars addressed these areas within the text chapters (TC) and Action Plan (AP) as follows:

Caring – TC: 1, 3, 4, 9-11, 14; AP: Mental, Social, Home & Family, Ethics & Belief

Civic virtue and Citizenship – TC: 1-4, 7, 9-14; AP: Mental, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs

Justice and Fairness – TC: 1- 4, 6, 7, 9-11, 13, 14; AP: Mental, Ethics & Beliefs

Respect – TC: 1-4, 7, 9, 10, 11-14; AP: Mental, Social, Physical, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs

Responsibility – TC: 1-14; AP: Mental, Social, Physical, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs

Trustworthiness – TC: 1-14; AP: Mental, Social, Physical, Home & Family, Ethics & Beliefs


Workforce Investment Act (WIA)

In conjunction with the Sar Levitan Center for Public Policy Study, the federal government has recognized that short-term training and employment programs have not resulted in long term gains.  Therefore, in 2000, the WIA revised its traditional funding of summer programs and instituted a long-term approach with at least a 30% emphasis on out of school youth.  These new program elements within Section 129 of WIA also include: “(A) tutoring, study skills training, and instruction, leading to completion of secondary school; ... (F) leadership development opportunities, which may include community service and peer-centered activities encouraging responsibility and other positive social behaviors during non-schools hours as appropriate; ...(H) adult mentoring...of not less than 12 months; (I) follow-up services for not less than 12 months after the completion .” WIA also supports U.S. Department of Education and State of Indiana requirements in providing leadership and citizenship development.

Rising Stars supports the WIA’s focus on balance within each stage of youth development.  The entire curriculum focuses on personal leadership with the Action Plan providing opportunities for balanced goal setting behavior.


Promising and Effective Practices Network (PEPNet) Criteria

The PEPNet is a project of the National Youth Employment Coalition (NYEC) which identifies and promotes criteria of effective practices in youth employment and development.  Some of these practices include: helping young people gain skills and background necessary to make good educational and career decisions; providing opportunities for youth to engage in community service; promoting cultural diversity and awareness; and creating participation opportunities for life skills and interpersonal skills development.

The Rising Stars’ curriculum encompasses these practices.  Through the Alumni Association, Rising Stars graduates have additional opportunities to serve their communities and to mentor new Rising Stars participants.


Rising Stars Curriculum

Chapter 1 – Leadership

Objectives:

Identify the attitudes, skills and behaviors they can begin to implement this week

Identify the qualities of a good leader

Describe the three basic leadership styles

Distinguish personal qualities of self-leadership


Chapter 2 – S-U-C-C-E-S-S

Objectives:

Identify the attitudes, skills and behaviors they can begin to implement this week

Identify the source of success

List steps in learning from mistakes

Define self-image

List the 2 step process in developing self-image


Chapter 3 – Glancing Back

Objectives:

Identify the attitudes, skills and behaviors they can begin to implement this week

Recognize and define early conditioning

Distinguish the differences between compromise and conformity

Describe the three basic leadership styles

Identify examples of healthy conformity and making good choices

List examples of positive and negative peer pressure


Chapter 4 – Attitude Is Everything

Objectives:

Identify the attitudes, skills and behaviors they can begin to implement this week

Define attitude

Demonstrate how attitudes affect past and future behavior

Identify 3 reasons why people resist change

Demonstrate good habits and positive attitudes


Chapter 5 – Goal Setting For Success

Objectives:

Identify the attitudes, skills and behaviors they can begin to implement this week

State the criteria for a successful goal

Describe the relationship between short and long-range goals

Describe tangible goals

Define intangible goals


Chapter 6 – Achieving Success

Objectives:

Identify the attitudes, skills and behaviors they can begin to implement this week

List the advantages of personal goal setting

Describe the benefits of written goals

Define the acronym “SMARTY”

State the two main reasons people succeed

Define an obstacle

Describe an effective way to overcome obstacles

Identify the three ways goal-setting begins


Chapter 7 – Turning Solutions into Action

Objectives:

Identify the attitudes, skills and behaviors they can begin to implement this week

Define the purpose of a target date

Describe the fear of criticism

State how fear can be overcome

Describe how frustration can be positively handled at school and at home


Chapter 8 – Watch the Clock

Objectives:

Identify the attitudes, skills and behaviors they can begin to implement this week

Define procrastination

Describe how procrastination can be overcome

Explain the importance of time management

State the difference between “Must Do” and “Should Do”

Apply self-discipline concepts


Chapter 9 – Do You Know Your “Self”?

Objectives:

Identify the attitudes, skills and behaviors they can begin to implement this week

Describe each of the three “selfs”

Describe the difference between optimism and pessimism

State the value and importance of visualization

Identify the specific criteria for successful affirmations

List the benefits of affirmations

Create personal affirmations


Chapter 10 – Human Needs and Motivation

Objectives:

Identify the attitudes, skills and behaviors they can begin to implement this week

Describe the five levels of needs within human behavior

Demonstrate self-motivation

Identify the key to higher levels of personal achievement

Explain why incentive motivation is not permanent


Chapter 11 – Leading Others

Objectives:

Identify the attitudes, skills and behaviors they can begin to implement this week

Become what a leader needs to be

Learn what a leader needs to know

Demonstrate what a leader needs to do

Describe why leadership is situational

Explain the difference between power and authority


Chapter 12 – Do You Hear What I Hear?

Objectives:

Identify the attitudes, skills and behaviors they can begin to implement this week

Describe the communication process

List the three fundamental principles of effective communication

Define nonverbal communication

Identify the elements in communication

Define empathy

Identify what type of communication prevails during a communication conflict

Communicate differently


Chapter 13 – Making Decisions and Solving Problems

Objectives:

Identify the attitudes, skills and behaviors they can begin to implement this week

Describe why decisions need to be consistent with values

Describe why decisions need to be in alignment with goals

Take steps to define a problem

Demonstrate how values help make good choices and “tough” decisions

Distinguish the difference between short-term and long-term benefits


Chapter 14 – Continuing Leadership Growth

Objectives:

Identify the attitudes, skills and behaviors they can begin to implement this week

Recognize the importance of being open-minded

Describe the necessity of a regular self-inventory

State why goal setting behavior is a part of daily life

Describe why goal setting is valuable in both the personal and professional lives of an individual

Demonstrate how goal setting can be internalized



Personal Achievement Action Plan


Introduction to Personal Achievement - Your Action Plan – An Overview

What are my dreams?

List of Dreams

Mental Development

Social Development

Physical Development

Career & Financial Development

Home & Family Development

Ethics & Beliefs Development

Setting Goals and Establishing Priorities

Goal Planning Sheets

Time Management

Goals Accomplished


Implementation


Scheduling

Flexible schedule 8 to 32 weeks (10 to 16  weeks recommended)

1 to 3 hours per weekly session (depending on design)


Facilitation Training

Facilitator Training available on site

Certification available off site with at least 5 participants or on site with at least 6 participants


Facilitation Support Material

Implementation Manual that contains

Flight Plan (a tool that allows facilitation from one 11x17 sheet of paper per chapter)

Facilitator’s Guide (written, specific text to support facilitator)

Pre and Post Tests (objectives match those on the Flight Plan) in sheet protectors

All activities including ice breakers in sheet protectors

All handouts for each session/chapter in sheet protectors

All overheads in individual sheet protectors

Concept speech (a presentation to begin to engage the participants in the process)


Alumni Association – graduates become mentors and facilitators to future participants

Extensive network of professional facilitators who can assist in implementation of Rising Stars


Deliverables

Textbook -14 chapter perfect bound textbook.

Personal Goal Achievement Action Plan  - to apply concepts to everyday life

Audio – CD-ROM textbook narration for repetition and reinforcement

Binder – 3 ring binder to hold students journal, textbook and audio support

Assessments – Pre & Post along with continual assessment during the program

Implementation Manual – (reproducible activities) 10 or 16 weeks (Optional)

Alumni Association – graduates become mentors and facilitators to future participants (Optional)


The process is currently designed for each student to receive a complete process including textbook, audio, binder and Personal Goal Achievement Action Plan .  We are currently developing a library program,  reproducible Personal Action Planner and Personal Goal Achievement Action Plan software program.




Outcomes of Rising Stars Development Process


Participants:

Apply skills from their assessment

Seek out options from diverse alternatives

Make goal oriented informed decisions

Communicate effectively in diverse situations (socially confident)

Demonstrate leadership in various situations

Team – player and/or leader

Provides a vision and purpose to a cause

Uses influence to obtain planned outcomes


Outcomes From Pilot Participants:

Graduates had a 40% grade point increase.

Graduates had a 56% reduction in school disciplinary/truancy incidents.

75% increase in college attendance within one pilot site.


Building strong Character… tomorrow’s Leaders are today’s RISING STARS!


© CENTER FOR CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT™ 2016