Character Strengths and Corresponding Behaviors

KIPP NYC focuses their efforts on the development of seven highly predictive strengths. Working with Dr. Angela Duckworth, Dr. Chris Peterson, and Dr. Martin Seligman, and in partnership with Riverdale Country School, KIPP NYC created the behaviors below to provide a roadmap for the development of each strength.

Character Strengths



  • Finished whatever s/he began
  • Stuck with a project or activity for more than a few weeks
  • Tried very hard even after experiencing failure
  • Stayed committed to goals
  • Kept working hard even when s/he felt like quitting



  • Actively participated
  • Showed enthusiasm
  • Approached new situations with excitement and energy



 School Work

  • Came to class prepared
  • Remembered and followed directions
  • Got to work right away instead of waiting until the last minute
  • Paid attention and resisted distractions


  • Remained calm even when criticized or otherwise provoked
  • Allowed others to speak without interrupting
  • Was polite to adults and peers
  • Kept temper in check



  • Believed that effort would improve his/her future
  • When bad things happened, s/he thought about things they could do to make it better next time
  • Stayed motivated, even when things didn’t go well
  • Believed that s/he could improve on things they weren’t good at



  • Recognized what other people did for them
  • Showed appreciation for opportunities
  • Expressed appreciation by saying thank you
  • Did something nice for someone else as a way of saying thank you



  • Was able to find solutions during conflicts with others
  • Showed that s/he cared about the feelings of others
  • Adapted to different social situations



  • Was eager to explore new things
  • Asked questions to help s/he learn better
  • Took an active interest in learning



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