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WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 15, 2021) — Character.org has selected Michele Borba, Ed.D. to receive the 2021 Sanford N. McDonnell Award for Lifetime Achievement in Character Education. The “Sandy Award” is named in honor of Sandy McDonnell, one of the driving forces behind the current character education movement in the United States.

Dr. Borba is an educational psychologist, best-selling author, and regular TODAY show contributor who has spoken to over a million participants on five continents about child development issues. She is recognized globally for her work in bullying and youth violence prevention. Borba received a Doctorate in Educational Psychology and Counseling from the University of San Francisco.

“She also has given long and generous service to many organizations and to Character.org as a Board member, Forum keynoter, and informal advisor,” said Dr. Thomas Lickona, Director of the Center for the 4th and 5th Rs (Respect and Responsibility). “Honestly, I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the ‘Sandy Award’.”

Borba is the award-winning author of 24 books, most recently Thrivers, a science-backed guide that helps parents and educators teach the essential character strengths kids need to become “thrivers”- young people who flourish in a rapidly changing, digitally-driven and uncertain world. Her best-selling book, UnSelfie, is a crucial guide to address the staggering decrease in empathy in children from toddler to teen.

“Michele Borba’s warmth, sincerity and passion for character are her superpowers,” added Dr. Arthur Schwartz, president of Character.org. “She also has that rare gift to translate emerging research into practical wisdom. Her two books Thrivers and Building Moral Intelligence should be read by every parent striving to foster and model the character strengths.”

Michele Borba, Ed.D.

Michele Borba, Ed.D.

2021 "Sandy Award" recipient

Borba will receive her award at Character.org’s International Annual Forum that will take place virtually in October. The attendees include leaders and thinkers in education, sports, workplace and families.

ABOUT THE ‘SANDY AWARD’: This annual lifetime achievement award is named in honor of Sanford N. McDonnell, Chairman Emeritus of the McDonnell Douglas Corporation and Founding Chairman and Chairman Emeritus of Character.org. It is the nonprofit’s highest honor, and the award goes to one individual each year who, over a significant period of time has:

*Influenced policy, research, and/or practice
*Been a change agent or creator of innovations
*Widely disseminated a character development program as a catalytic leader

ABOUT CHARACTER.ORG: Character.org is a worldwide network that empowers people of all ages to practice and model the ethical core values that shape our hearts, minds and choices.  Formerly known as the Character Education Partnership, the organization has relentlessly advocated for character since 1993. Today, Character.org creates and shares resources that support people around the globe, including the 11 Principles Framework for Schools: A Guide to Cultivating a Culture of Character. The organization’s vision is to be the global leader and voice for developing character in families, schools, and organizations.

For more information, visit Character.org and follow on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn


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