Leading By Example: Creating Motivation That Fosters Positive Change in Young People

Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program


First Reader

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD


It is not what one has in life; rather, what is left as the legacy. Personally I have received many awards. However, I feel so much better when I help people receive their own awards. Now, I want to use positive language and positive action to help motivate young people, encouraging them to achieve their own success, as well as foster success in others. Oftentimes people get wrapped up in personal issues and forget about others. The purpose of this paper is twofold. One is to shed light on the issue of self-motivation or lack of self-motivation in young people. The second, and primary purpose of this work, is to understand and to create a framework for others who struggle with being successful on a daily basis, and to discover methods of teaching self-motivation. The literature reveals that this type of work is possible. Others have this idea and are trying to put it into practice. Young people want to be motivated. While there is much work done in this area, there is no cohesiveness to bringing this information together and applying it, operationalizing this information in practice. The present study is qualitative in design, using three settings to gather data. Participants included a group of high school football players who agreed to engage in a focus group following a practice and several games. The second source of information came from discourse on the issue of motivation. The third source came from snapshot data following lectures on motivation in selected school sites in Florida and Kentucky. Information was recorded and analyzed for common themes. Results indicated that the act of purposely motivating others had a positive effect on increasing individual motivation.

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