CharacterAssets -    Youth Leadership - Service Learning
 
 



Anna Lee Traynor is the President & CEO of CharacterAssets, Inc. and creator of the award winning CharacterAssets© program, and
Project PEACEWORKS"  bully/violence prevention 
initiative. Lee has over thirty-seven years experience working as a licensed professional in the field of Occupational Therapy, and she is the Director of Therapy Services for a hospital affiliated rehabilitation center in New Jersey. 
 
In addition to Lee's extensive experience in the health care industry, the diversity of her professional training expands into the legal profession, as a Paralegal, and she is a Certified Professional Life Coach. 
 
 Lee's commitment as an advocate for children's rights spans over twenty years. She has been a member of The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (CASA) since 1994. In 1996 she attended a national child advocacy conference in Washington D.C. and met with congressional leaders regarding reform of laws protecting children. She has volunteered as a court advocate for domestic violence victims, and as a volunteer liaison for her state's juvenile conference committee.
 
It was Lee's experience on working with the juvenile conference committee that inspired her to create the CharacterAssets©  Program concept. At the time, the only alternative dispositions available to the juveniles remained more punitive in nature, versus rehabilitative, and did not offer true qualitative risk prevention in the form of youth enrichment skill building opportunities. The more standard form of community service available to refer the juveniles to consisted essentially of what the youth referred to as  "picking up garbage on some road". After completing the CharacterAssets program, one of the youth participant's expressed that when he was "picking up garbage", (for community service), he felt that is how he was looked at by others, and to himself.  ".. I was only worth enough just to pick up garbage...now my community service is an example of my being a leader with character and value, and self pride..." In Lee's CharacterAssets©  program, engaging in community service now identify youth with qualities of character leadership, personal dignity, and hope for future life achievement success.
 
Also as a result of her steadfast commitment on child advocacy issues, Anna Lee was honored to be selected by Ginger Rhodes, and Pulitzer Prize Author, Richard Rhodes  to have her life experiences chronicled in their book, "Trying To Get Some Dignity". 
 
In essence,the CharacterAssets© program concept is more then a benchmark intervention for reducing risk factors for youth. It embraces Lee's own personal statement of advocacy for all children to have the support, love, and commitment from their communities to provide a wealth of resources and learning opportunities that nurture a course of positive enrichment in all areas of a child's development, including character leadership, moral courage, self worth insight, and preservation of personal dignity, and quality of life.
 
 Consultants from a variety of professional backgrounds, including attorneys, health care, law enforcement, business/corporate and social service agencies, and education, also contribute to the program format.