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He saw people’s needs and acted on them, no matter what their background or circumstances. One student shared a story of a young man she met in Cambodian while on a service-learning project with her school.
Related to the idea that role models show a commitment to their communities, students also admired people for their selflessness and acceptance of others who were different from them. Washington once said, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which one has overcome.” Young people echoed this sentiment, showing how they developed the skills and abilities of initiative when they learned to overcome obstacles.
One student spoke of her father, saying “He never saw social barriers. Not surprisingly, they admire people who show them that success is possible.
Role models show passion for their work and have the capacity to infect others with their passion.
Speaking of several of his teachers, one student said, “They’re so dedicated to teaching students and helping students and empowering students. They are always trying to give back to the next generation.
That really inspires me.” Role models live their values in the world.
Children admire people who act in ways that support their beliefs.
He has dedicated his life to give back to his community. Positive role models are also linked to self-efficacy, the ability to believe in ourselves.
In fact, the young people in my study admitted that had they not learned to believe in themselves, they would not have been capable of believing they could make a difference in the world!
These qualities were woven through hundreds of stories and life experiences that helped children form a vision for their own futures.
By far, the greatest attribute of a positive role model is the ability to inspire others.