The Three Pillars:
Faith, Character, Patriotism
The YLDP is founded on three fundamental Pillars of leadership: Faith, Character, and Patriotism. The YLDP considers these Pillars vital to the successful development of tomorrow’s leaders for the United States of America and the Great American Culture, as well as for our future leaders of business, industry, finance, as well as state and local governments.
Faith: True leadership demands a belief in a higher power, God. It is as Augustine said, having Faith means “believe in a God, believe God, believe in God.” The YLDP stresses that leaders may be educated, knowledgeable, and experienced, but in order to be wise they must possess Faith, by believing there is a far greater power than themselves.
Character: An individual’s character is a conscious guide that is constructed upon morals, values, and virtues that a person holds sacred to living a “good” life. The YLDP introduces and emphasizes the importance of universal morals, which by their very nature are necessary for all individuals to have in a society, in order for that society to maintain its existence. These include but are not limited to: Respect for Human Life; Respect for Human Dignity; Courage; Loyalty; Honesty; Truthfulness; Compassion; Generosity; Justice. In addition to the universal morals, the YLDP clarifies and emphasizes five fundamental morals of the American Culture: Work Ethic; Perseverance; Cooperation; Constructive Self Criticism; Responsibility toward Family and Society.
Patriotism: Patriotism is love of and devotion to the United States of America. The YLDP focuses on concepts of democracy and liberty. The YLDP stresses the sanctity of freedom and its cost. Additionally, the YLDP promotes respect for veterans and active military and their families. The YLDP puts great emphasis on the Medal of Honor, and the greatest of American Heroes, Medal of Honor recipients.
Curriculum and Instruction:
The Three Pillars of the YLDP: Faith, Character, and Patriotism are the foundations of the YLDP Curriculum, and its instructional process and activities. Hence, the Curriculum is not limited to the monthly lessons and group discussions but is the “experiencing” of the YLDP.
Faith is up front in every meeting and activity as all meetings and activities are opened with a group prayer. These “prayers” provide a direct and reverent acknowledgment of a power higher than ourselves, God. It also allows students to experience community identity with the idea of having and expressing Faith.
Character is quite obviously the essence of the YLDP. Students know they have been chosen because of their demonstrated character in school. They also realize that if they excel in the YLDP, College Partners offer scholarships to them because of their demonstrated character in the YLDP. Therefore, to experience the YLDP is to come face to face with the meaning of character. To understand that character is not a nebulous term but is in fact how you live your life. The YLDP “experience” presents the true nature of character by introducing the students to the “universal morals,” and “essential morals” vital to having sound character. All YLDP lessons, activities, program service projects, and student created service projects are a constant and consistent experiencing of the meaning of character.
Patriotism is part and parcel of the entire experience of the YLDP. The “Pledge of Allegiance,” led by a student, is said at the opening of every meeting and performed in the traditional sense by all students. Whenever a YLDP Meeting or activity has the capability the “National Anthem” is played and traditional participation and respect is shown.
Patriotism, although a constant stream within the YLDP experience, is most emphasized during the first quarter of the year. At the initial meeting in September, the students are assigned to a “Company” named in honor of one of the YLDP’s special Medal of Honor recipients i.e. Thorsness, Adkins, Morris, Livingston, Rose, Donlon, Marm, and Beikirch. Assignments, lessons, and activities for October are directly related to patriotism, the Medal of Honor, veterans, “Green Berets,” and The Command Sergeant Major Bennie Adkins Foundation. The Pillar of Patriotism comes to total fruition in the YLDP in November with the its annual “Walk For Warriors” and the annual YLDP Patriotism Program. Both of which dramatically bring to life the true meaning of Patriotism through student involvement, honored guests, special presentations, and the celebration of freedom, its cost and those who protect our freedom.