Value YOUR Education – Pursue Virtue! Show Valor! Become the Victor!

Value Your Education – Pursue Virtue! Show Valor! Become the Victor!

Regardless of your mile marker in life, we can all straighten out our path to pursue VIRTUE, VALOR to be the VICTOR.  No matter how many times you have fallen or how many negative ‘numbskulls’ or ‘gatekeepers’ stand in your way do not give up on your journey to be the best you.

Since no one can say they are perfect or have never stumbled in life consider the following:  Do good people do bad things?  Of course they do.  Do bad people do good things? Of course they do.
So what is the difference?  Wicked or bad people never stop being wicked or bad. They still practice their corruption, their vices, their racism, their prejudices, their biases, their negative actions and attitudes while performing an occasional good deed.  Yet people who are of good character may stumble in word or deed. They may even commit some numbskull mistakes themselves, but like the Weebles that wobble, they don’t stay down.  Many good people can and have acted out of character and make poor choices which can ultimately mar their self-esteem, or character.   But they pick themselves up and continue on living their life pursuing virtuous endeavors, manifesting outstanding valor in the face of the most difficult situations which ultimately makes them the VICTOR!

Regardless of what century or millennium we started our journey, humans were created to strive for perfection.  Some of us may have started out well and then tripped while others stumbled out of the starting gate.  Regardless of where you are in life, we all control our choices, words, conduct and feelings.  There is no law against kindness, good manners, love, joy, peace, self-control, nor mildness. Work toward developing these qualities. Make them an integral part of your character. They will serve you well.

This applies if you were born with the proverbial silver spoon or spent some time in juvenile detention centers or even prison.  Everyone has the ability to ‘be a better YOU.’ Never, say you cannot change, because then you are saying that you are a robot and controlled by someone other than yourself.
Everyone, and I mean everyone can grow and improve in character.

VIRTUE is the quality of being morally good in behavior or character.  It can be attained when we overcome negative obstacles that will be standing in our way.
VALOR is courage or bravery.  Be courageous and brave and face your fears, challenge yourself to be better than what you are today.  Dare to be great at everything.
VICTOR is the person who has overcome or defeated an adversary. You adversary may be a disability, an academic limitation or even negative family experiences to name just a few. But whatever the challenge don’t back down.  Stand firm and pursue a good character, Be courageous and brave and you will be the VICTOR!

The UniversityofBandz is dedicated to helping students, parents, teachers and community members to supports us in helping everyone to ‘be the BEST YOU possible.’

Ste Brown MS, CEO

TAKE THE PLEDGE – BE THE BEST YOU – play within the lines – part II


Zola Budd, the runner from South Africa. Picture shows Zola colliding with Mary Decker in the 1984 LA Olympics.

When a player suffers an injury for his/her particular sport they may need surgery, or rest or some type of intervention before they can return to the game. Similarly, In school there may be other factors that prevent a student from participating at their highest level of performance. It could be an illness or a situation at home or it could be a disability, (reading, math, language, etc), or any number of other complications.

Professional athletes understand that time is precious. They do not spend hours in the gym practicing to be a gymnast for years then change their mind and decide to enter a swimming event or track event.  Their muscles and stamina are not developed for those sports.  So the same can be said for your education.  Your performance in class dictates your direction. Your performance is the end result of your training.  How well you perform determines what you will be able to do! Be careful what classes you take.  Be sure to take the prerequisites and do your very best in all of them. How well you perform in the easier classes is not always an indicator of how well you will do on the harder ones, but it is a good barometer.

With that said, ask yourself: Are you wasting time in the classroom by not paying attention? By not doing your homework? By not asking enough questions? If so, you will eventually need to go back and learn that subject again. While you are wasting your time doing something you should have learned the first time, your competition is kicking your butt because they are laps ahead of you in the race for the summer job, the home, the car, and life!  They are the first in line for the recommendations and the promotions because they showed enough good character to do things right the first time.

Did the teacher waste your time because you chose to be the class clown, or talk on your phone, or talk to another classmate during the time you should have been listening, writing, asking questions, and doing your work?  Of course not! So quit blaming your teachers for your poor use of time.

They are NOT your parents, grandparents or family members!  However, they can give you guidance and advice, but if you do not follow it, then who wasted whose time?

YOU wasted YOUR OWN TIME!  YOU FAILED YOURSELF, because you were not disciplined enough to want to be the Best you.

Professional athletes come in all sizes and shapes and play in a variety of sports. But there is one thing they all have in common. They all want to get better at whatever their endeavor may be and they all want to be the best they can be in their given sport. The really good athletes also understand the importance of CHARACTER and its impact on their ability to get the big commercial contracts and product endorsements!

So how can you apply that to your education? What do you need to work on TODAY? Do you have a plan in place to help you succeed and reach your educational and vocational goals? Do you have a vocational counselor or guidance counselor who understands your social, medical, educational, financial and vocational history? Do they understand small business development and entrepreneurship? If not GET ONE or just email me and I will give you the needed information!

Time is ticking.  You will eventually graduate and have to start making your own way in life. Are you ready? Are you looking forward to it with joy or with fear?  A lot depends upon your character! What if you not ready, what can you do?

For those of you who have a plan in place you are to be commended!
For those who do not, All is NOT LOST….you can apply yourself to doing better from this day forwardMAKE YOUR PLEDGE TODAY,

The Pledge
I________________________ endeavor to use my time wisely in school, to pay attention in all classes, to respect all teachers, classmates, all employees.
I pledge to myself, my parents, my teachers and my community that I will do my schoolwork, read my books, ask questions, seek advice when needed, and live by the rules and play within the lines.

I pledge not to make excuses, or blame others for my academic failures.  I pledge to spread the message about the importance of character and its impact on education. I pledge to follow the motto of the UniversityofBandz to BE THE BEST YOU possible. 

I understand that if I fall down in meeting these obligations that I will NOT stay down.  I will pick myself up, dust off the dirt and move forward by continuing to develop positive character.


Outstanding! You are now an official member of the UniversityofBandz and its Character Initiative Program!

Granted those are words on a page.  But its up to you to put them in your heart and your head and to follow them.  If you do, you will have VIRTUE, You will show VALOR and you will be the VICTOR!

For recommendations on how to create your own personal educational plan contact SCB Associates, Inc.

Best Regards
Ste Brown MS, CEO

LIFE HAS RULES: Play within the lines

LIFE HAS RULES: Play within the lines.

Games with Lines: Tennis, Football, Basketball, Baseball, Soccer, Hockey, Table Tennis, Golf.  What other games can you think of that have rules: Monopoly, Chess, Checkers, Shuts and Ladders, Candy Land, Scrabble, Operation, UNO, Battleship, Twister, Pente.

Name ONE game where if you do not play by the RULES where there is no penalty or possibly even disqualification?  There are NONE.  All games have rules or else there would be no real purpose for the game. There would be no challenge.  Without the challenge there would be no reward.

Now apply that to your education.  Name ANY CLASS where you go sit and NOT pay attention, NOT do your homework, NOT read your books, and NOT suffer the consequences.  Sometimes your consequences are immediate by being removed from the classroom.  But the larger consequence is that your entire life is impacted by your ATTITUDE toward your educational efforts.  It will impact your earnings, which in turn impact your housing, your transportation, your clothing, your entertainment, etc., etc.  It also impacts where you can work, what types of work you can obtain, and the bottom line it will impact your BANK ACCOUNT.

Just like all games have boundaries to stay in line and follow their rules, or experience the consequences, the same can be said for all phases of your life.   When you run outside the lines or break the rules you get disqualified from the game.  All Classrooms have boundaries set down by the TEACHER who is the COACH of the classroom.  The Teacher wants you to succeed; because if you succeed the team succeeds (your classroom) it enables them to challenge you with more knowledge because they can create more interesting classroom assignments.  The more academic and character challenges you can overcome the more competitive you will be when it counts!

All of your TEAMMATES (classmates) in each class also benefit because they are all able to hear the lesson and apply the lesson that will enable them to increase their knowledge and learning capacities for new subjects.  It prepares them for the next grade level (next level of competition) because they have learned the basics.

Now apply the same illustration to life after school.

You are driving down the street but NO ONE wants to obey the traffic signs.  People are all driving at different speeds, running red lights, running through stop signs and eventually one of your teammates (CLASSMATES, FAMILY MEMBERS or WORKMATES are killed because someone did NOT follow the rules of driving.)

How would you feel?  Ah, so there is a value in teaching you how to follow rules, teaching you to STAY in your lane, Take your turn, learn patience, learn to share, learn to care for the needs and concerns of others.  All of these simple principles carry a tremendous upside and improve your QUALITY of LIFE.

Therefore who you become is based upon your ability to follow the rules.  Do it from the heart, not out of mere duty but for love of the principle behind the rule.

Best Regards
Ste Brown MS, CEO


Character Trumps Academic Proficiency

The UniversityofBandz was created by its founder Steve Brown MS who brings over 30 years of counseling and people skills from multiple disciplines including education to help address some key indicators for academic failure.  The number one cause for academic failure is lack of Character. Consider, that a person of good character has a proper perspective of education and understands its value therefore they will put in the time to do whatever it takes to be the best student they can be.  They understand that learning is a life long endeavor and as a human species we will never stop learning new things. That cannot always be said of people who have academic proficiencies. There are many students who have average to above average academic skill sets but they are not always the best mannered students!  They can still be the class clown, the school bully, the arrogant jock, the spoiled brat, or racist, prejudiced and disrespectful to staff and fellow students.

Character is not dependent upon ethnicity, age, gender, culture, etc.  Manners are manners.  You either know how to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, ‘how may I help you’, demonstrate, kindness, patience, self-control, mildness, peaceable, etc, or you don’t.  You either know how to treat all people with respect or your don’t.  You either value these qualities or you don’t.

Good Character is modeled in your home or it is not.  Your culture does not dictate these values, but your upbringing does. The apple does not far far from the tree! Children usually act the way their parents act. Our children are taught at an early age, not to take things that do not belong to them, how to share, how to wait their turn, not talk out of turn, etc.  These are basic skills taught by MOST families.  It is like riding a bike.  You do not forget how and why to do these things.

The second reason for academic failure is students and some parents do not understand the real value of education. To understand the value of anything you need to be able to compare it to something.  Therefore, the ability to teach yourself and understand meaning is directly related to ones ability to  create analogies, illustrations, comparisons, all of which can be difficult for students and even parents.

Consider, the more information you can store in the most powerful machine in the human body (our brain) the more we are going to understand about our environment, nature, sciences, history, math, and the people around us.  All of this enhances our quality of life and our ability to appreciate the things we have and the things around us.  It also effects the bottom line, how much you can earn and where you can work!

Also it is important to understand that Character NOT academic proficiency is the number one transferable skill we take in life.  We are known by the things that we DO, not by the things that we know!  Employers, people, non-profits, communities want to know how we deal with adversity, how we deal with set-backs, not just successes.  CHARACTER determines how we respond to disappointment, how we handle failures, how we handle successes.  A person of good Character does not beat themselves up emotionally when they make a mistake and they do not stand on a soap box when they are successful saying, ‘look at me aren’t I great?!’  But they are balanced in all areas of life.

Therefore our program is for all students and people everywhere.  Regardless of where they start out in life, or what patch of badness they may have run into, or what mistakes they may have made, CHARACTER is something that is developed and maintained.  Character is a matter of CHOICE! It can be damaged and repaired, unlike academic deficiencies.  Academic deficiencies can be remediated but some people will never be able to do Trigonometry, or Calculus.  Some may never be able to read well due to damage to specific regions of their brain.  But CHARACTER… the ability to take the high road, display good ethics, morals and integrity are NOT dependent upon academic ability.  You do not need to be a rocket scientist to have manners and positive self-esteem or to treat people with respect.

Therefore, it is not academic proficiency that makes students respectfully sit in class and listen, and do their work or participate in class. It is not academic proficiency that allows students to have manners, self-respect, dignity, self-esteem and a good self-image.  It is not academic proficiency that teaches students to respect their teachers or that a student should NEVER verbally or physically attack anyone.


The staff of the UniversityofBandz would ask and invite each of you to support our initiative to help students, Be the BEST you!  Value YOUR Character!

CHARACTER – Definition


VYE is a program that gets to the heart of learning and performance at all levels of education and carries over into our everyday life.   As a former Career Rehabilitation Counselor and CRC that worked with students in 3 high schools I have concluded that neither academic skills nor the lack there-of are what causes academic failure.  It is CHARACTER.  Having worked with over 3000 different cases of personalities and parents and administrators it becomes easy to quickly see the type of commitment and discipline that makes people successful.  It is not always the smartest person in the classroom that is the best leader.  Nor is it always the student with the worst academic skills that turns out to be the class-clown.  But we all recognize good character in our classmates and peers.

I have worked with students and adults at varying levels of transition including Juvenile Justice Programs, Adult Correctional Facilities, military personnel, professional athletes, social assistance programs, drug and alcohol programs as well as students who had outstanding academic skill sets.

But it is interesting to note that where people start in life does always dictate their success.  Example, often times people who had things handed to them may not have appreciated what they had so they throw it away only to realize they wanted it back after they lost it.  Whereas some who came out of the Juvenile programs or CJS, or various social programs were grateful to get out from under those programs so they could get on with their lives. There are exceptions to everything.

So character or the lack there of is not a unique quality limited to only one segment of society.  It is the essence of what our communities and our world is about.  The worst the character, the greater the crimes that people are able to commit, including illegally injecting people with neural chips or torturing people with microwaves, or gang stalking, or lying to protect themselves from prosecution.  These are not great revelations to our readers, but it is a a topic that will be addressed in future blogs.

CONSIDER:  Do you need to be a Rhodes Scholar to show respect to your teacher or administrators or fellow classmates, to listen in class, participate in class, or to read your books and do your homework?
NO!  People of good character VALUE EDUCATION!  They have a DESIRE TO LEARN.  Some people learn at a very early age that learning is a LIFE LONG experience.

CONSIDER: Do you need to be PERFECT to have self-respect, respect for others, and principled love of people in general?  NO!  But people of good Character do it for the right reasons and in spite of our varying personality quirks.  You cannot hide genuine kindness, good will, mildness, peaceableness, patience and self-control and other virtues.

CONSIDER: Do you need to be on the Dean’s List to Value Your Education?  NO!
Whether you are a student with learning deficiencies in reading or math or if classes come easy for you, a person of GOOD CHARACTER is never pushy, disrespectful toward their classmates nor teachers nor fellow students and administrators.  They are not haughty, arrogant nor rude! They understand that every minute they are in that classroom is valuable and they choose to maximize their learning potential by LISTENING, PARTICIPATING and SHOWING RESPECT for each teacher’s efforts.

CONSIDER: Do we only learn while in the classroom?  NO!  We also learn while walking through the hallways, how to maintain our self-control, to clean up our language, to respect the rights of others, to not take offense when verbally attacked.  Good Character also, learns that EVERYONE has a story to share, even the homeless man on the street.  By respecting ALL people we increase our learning capacity because we are willing to listen to people even when they say things we do not agree with.  We can politely agree to disagree.

CONSIDER: Character is the number one TRANSFERABLE SKILL you can take with you in life! Employers want to know you can be a team player, be counted on to do your job within the corporate guidelines, respect your workmates regardless of your differences.  Persons of Good Character, show up to work ON-TIME, bring a POSITIVE ATTITUDE to the work place, and build their teammates up throughout the day.

noun: character

  1. 1. the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.

Synonyms: Personality, nature, disposition, temperament, temper, mentality, makeup, spirit, essence, identity, ethos, complexion, tone, feel, feeling, integrity, honor, moral strength, moral fiber, rectitude, uprightness, fortitude, strength, backbone, resolve, grit, willpower,

As a former counselor I used to listen to parents blame the teachers, the administrators and everyone but themselves and their student for his or her lack of academic performance.    When the teacher explains that the student does not do their homework, does not participate in the classroom or disrupts the class by using their cell phone or other electronic devices or talking out of turn, etc., the parents want to make excuses. They refuse to believe their son or daughter could ever behave that way. Character development starts at home.  Learning begins at home.

Character is developed in a variety of ways and one of the simplest ways to build character is learning manners in our infancy.  Teaching our children to respect their elders, to say “thank you” and “please” and “your welcome” were the basic manners parents used to teach their children.  As we got older our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even our community elders would teach us how to listen without interrupting others.  They would show us by example how to participate in conversations without dominating the conversation, how to dress ourselves, and so much more.  Our personality traits were sharpened (for the good or bad) by the example of others around us.   We could learn that alcoholism was not a good choices simply by watching a relative make a fool of themselves. I was raised by two alcoholic uncles, and learned right away, that is NOT how I want to live my life!

Good Character respects the property and rights of others.  It does not mark up desks, walls, bathroom stalls, lockers, etc.  It does not STEAL property of others EVER!  Imagine a school environment where everyone,  STUDENTS, TEACHERS and ADMINISTRATORS ENJOY COMING TO SCHOOL EVERYDAY.
Imagine the quality of education that could be obtained if all students had good character and valued their education and they maximized every moment. Wow! Does that sound like a school you would like to be a part of?

But we know that is not the case. All people including adults, require good direction and good guidance at all levels of life.  Simply look at the corruption in government and public service jobs.  I think we can all site examples of individuals who need to develop better character as well as commend those who have built or repaired their character.

So our VYE initiative was created to invite Parents, students, administrators and all community members to support being the BEST VERSION of themselves they can be.  Regardless of what their current situation may be, anyone can change his/her character.  By supporting VYE and wearing our VYE apparel, you are telling YOURSELF and others that CHARACTER MATTERS, ACADEMICS MATTER and YOU will invest your energy, time and resources to becoming the best person you can be. You will support your teachers and your school districts to ensure YOUR student is not interfering with the educational progress of their classmates, or the district.

Then, regardless of any disabilities or personal circumstances you may find yourself in or patch of badness you may experience in your life, you will not let the negative things define you.  You will rise above your limitations, your mistakes or academic or personal failures and commit to pursuing good Virtues.   Valor will enable you to move ahead no matter how difficult the road ahead may be, or how many times you stumble in school or in life you will have the courage to pick yourself up.  Stop the pity party and the blame game and learn to be responsible.  If you can do this you will eventually become the VICTOR in your academic endeavors and life’s pursuits.

Support our CHARACTER Initiative visit

Ste Brown MS, CEO
University of Bandz

Greetings From the CEO


We are proud to announce our new campaign for 2016-02018.|

Do you need to be perfect to have self-respect, respect for others, and principled love of people in general? NO! But people of GOOD Character do it out of principle and in spite of varying personality differences and quirks. Look around you. You cannot hide kindness, good will, mildness, peaceableness, patience and self-control and other virtues. If we are honest with ourselves who would you rather spend YOUR time with, the loud mouth bossy person who has no respect for anything or anyone or the mild, kind, patient person?

How would you rather be defined by your classmates or remembered after graduation? CHARACTER is more important than your diploma. Your diploma only says what your proficiency and deficiency are in a given subject matter. But your CHARACTER says who and what you are at your core. Your CHARACTER speaks louder than any diploma or awards could ever speak.

One of my former associates who holds two PhD’s and is a clinical psychologist once said you cannot hide intelligence. I would add you cannot hide good character!

So what can you do if you have graduated and you did not do your best?  Simple… remedial classes, get a tutor, work on those deficiencies until you reach your Maximum Educational  Improvement (MEI). Maybe your best is only 8th or 9th grade while someone else may be a post doctorate level.  The point is to reach your maximum level of academic improvement and not compare yourself to others.  Good Character will allow you to find contentment with your achievements.

Maybe you damaged your character along the road; does that mean it has to remain that way?  Not at all! The human species has the power to grow beyond mistakes, words and definitions and negative opinions.  You have the ability to grow, change your direction and point of view, all of which means you can choose to change your character.  Notice how the operative suggestion is choose to change?  So what you choose to become is really up to you!

The next time you go to class ask yourself, can you listen respectfully, without interruption? Can you participate in the class, read your books and do your homework? Can you treat your teacher and students with respect? It will not be your academic skills that determine your choice. It will be your character on display.  We can hide our diplomas, our transcripts and school work, but our Character is ALWAYS ON DISPLAY!

How we think, speak, act, dress, and how we treat people, is not based upon any academic proficiency, but on our character! People of good character turn lemons into lemonade, rain into showers, and mud into pies.  They find the silver lining, see the positive and pursue it! They do not waste their time on negative things and do not let others negative attitudes rain on their day. There is a resilience to forge ahead and do their best no matter what the odds may be.
Is that your determination?

When a person repeatedly speaks to hurt, behaves in a manner to inflict pain and suffering, bully, intimidate, lie, cheat, steal, frame by degree, treat people differently because  of race, culture, ethnicity, etc.  Then it is safe to say that individual needs a character readjustment.  It does not matter their age, race, religion or gender.  If they act in any of the above ways we would all agree that they have some serious personality flaws that need to be corrected! We can also say their character is a reflection on their upbringing.

Unfortunately, the majority of people DO NOT change their character.  This is evident in the level of corruption at all levels of our society.  Our governments, non-profits, pharmaceutical companies, the entire world system is plagued with dishonesty and lack of integrity. Simply look at police brutality, racism, terrorism, immigration laws, illegal experimenting of US citizens with neural chips and Nano tech, corrupt judges, attorneys, bad priest, murders, increase in suicides, ad nauseam.

So…..each of you have a decision to make.  What type of student will you be?  What type of citizen will you become?  Do you really want to “be the BEST you” possible?  If that is your wish you have our support and best wishes.  We encourage you to wear our 3V apparel and caps and spread the word that GOOD CHARACTER is the key to academic success!
Support our Character 1st Challenge

Ste Brown MS, CEO