The National Liberty Museum

Young Heroes Program

Compelling Multi-Year Value Proposition

Disruptive, debilitating and painful stories about obstacles facing our city’s school students are a contemporary reality, so that many students don’t recognize what positive values are, so needed to succeed in life. The Young Heroes Outreach Program, created by the National Liberty Museum, helps students successfully grow as young values-based leaders. Students develop the skills and attitudes to combat the negative effects of bullying, apathy, peer pressure, resentment, anger and a host of other negative values and behaviors by harnessing the power of “heroes”—people who model positive values and make positive, actionable choices that serve the greater good. The Program uses inspiring historic and present day “hero” stories along with compelling anecdotes about their achievements coupled with project-based learning and discerning activities around good decision making. Students become empowered with the motivation and skills needed to grow as young leaders in positive ways.


In teacher surveys from the 13 schools that participate at the end of the 2014-2015 school year, 99% of faculty advisors reported that their students experienced positive, transformative growth as an outcome of the program; 83% of Club members reported confidence in their ability to create positive change and be student leaders. One outcome is students learn to effectively handle moral dilemmas. More positive effects and key outcomes are explained below.

Program Overview

Nation Liberty Museum’s highly effective Young Heroes Program adopts an entire school's fourth through eighth grades, with a specific corporate support partner, and trains the students over several years. They describe, model put into practice leadership skills, civic engagement, and positive character traits, teaching students to embrace a positive "hero" mentality vital for good citizenship. This unique program was founded to empower students to enable the positive change for themselves that they want to see in the world.

The intensive full school-year-long educational program, using a variety of techniques and modalities, teaches young people these vital character-building skills using inquiry- and project-based learning. The curriculum was designed to be relevant and contemporary for 21st century youth and to meet students’ individual learning styles and reading levels. More than 15,000 students from several challenged schools have participated to date.

Key Outcomes

As confirmed by an independent evaluation study by the University of Birmingham, UK, who examined the program’s impact on 800 Philadelphia 5 -7 graders over four years, the students who participated gained the skills to:

  • Handle moral dilemmas effectively
  • Demonstrate action-oriented civic and social engagement, initiating community service projects to make a tangible impact on their school and neighborhood.

In addition, they learned to:

  • Make positive decisions
  • Handle bullying in a proactive way
  • Embrace the virtues of courage, empathy and respect. They use to address issues like bullying, racism or violence.
  • Embrace Liberty as a vital ethics and civic part of character development.

Participant comment

"The National Liberty Museum taught me that you can be a hero no matter what age, what size, or what race you are."

- 4th grader, Young Heroes Outreach Program

Corporate sponsor comment

“I think the ROI of supporting the Young Heroes program is an opportunity to help create, develop, and support our future leaders. What other program can you contribute to where you are affecting the life of at- risk youth... and you can see the results in real-time, measurable ways through the students and through the impact to the school?”

-Beth Galvin, Ernst & Young, Young Heroes Outreach Program Sponsor

Opportunities for Employee Engagement and Sponsor Recognition

Sponsorship includes opportunities for employees to get involved in the students’ projects throughout the program year as fits their schedule

  • presenting personal stories on positive values and impact;
  • visiting “your” school;
  • Serving as a role model and mentor;
  • attending the year-end celebration each year.

At the end of the school year Young Heroes celebration, your employee representatives will also be invited to offer comments on stage about your corporate-community mission and why you support your school. In attendance could be your students, teachers and principal, education, community, business and government opinion leaders and the media.

The Young Heroes Outreach Program provides an exception opportunity for a corporation to make a positive difference in the lives of Philadelphia students, their communities, and the future.