Veterans Day at ROA

While most students are off school for Veterans Day, our learners were at school having powerful conversations about the military teamwork, trust, and what it means to be a hero. We are grateful to all who have served in the military and sacrificed their lives to protect ours.


We launched on toxicity.

Navy Seals, and the process by which they choose the best of the best goes along the axes of performance and trust. Seals are more likely to choose someone who has lower levels of performance but higher levels of trust, than someone who has higher levels of performance but low levels of trust. The most toxic individuals display the lowest level of trust no matter how high performing they are.

Having people on a team who are not trustworthy could create toxicity in any environment. There is no feeling of safety for others to perform and be themselves when the culture in an environment becomes toxic. Culture change can take a good deal of time and effort so it’s important to start sooner rather than later.

A team is not just a group of people who work together.

A team is a group of people who trust each other.

How do we gain trust? It takes time but well worth it in the end.


What is a hero? As children we might have thought of someone like Superman, who has otherworldly powers and wears a cape. Many are also inspired by real-life heroes like firefighters or soldiers. For Genre, in honor of Veterans Day, we watched a short video on a soldier who showed the greatest act of heroism by his sacrifice as many soldiers do in order to protect the nation.

On March 5, 1968 while monitoring enemy activity behind enemy lines in the Republic of Vietnam, his patrol was attacked by a much larger North Vietnamese force. During one of the attacks, a grenade landed in a “fighting hole.” Without hesitation, Ralph Johnson called for his fellow Marines to get back, while he threw himself on the explosive device. His sacrifice saved the lives of the remaining members of his patrol. In recognition of his selfless actions in combat, he was posthumously awarded the nation’s highest and most prestigious military decoration—the Medal of Honor.

PFC Johnson's sacrifice changed forever the lives of those whom he saved. His act of heroism is retold in the book, The Hero Code. We read a short excerpt on sacrifice. Most people are good at consoling other people when they’re upset but not so good at sacrificing their own needs for the sake of others. And in The Hero Code, we learned that heroes make sacrifices for others. It doesn’t have to be a big sacrifice; it just needs to be sincere and wholehearted. Because as long as you’re willing to put other people’s needs first before yours, you can already call yourself a hero.

“I will learn to sacrifice by giving a little of my time, my talent, and my treasure to those in need. Everyday. Without fail.”


What does heroism looks like in everyday life? In ROA, we see it everyday in our studio.


  • It’s when a friend shares her sweater with another friend who’s cold.

  • It’s when a friend gives up her seat for another.

  • It’s when a friend holds on to a friend to protect her from walking into a swing that’s about to hit her.

  • It’s when a friend brings her friend materials so that she doesn’t have to get it herself.

  • It’s when a friend comes to the aid of another when they get hurt to give them comfort.

  • It’s when a friend heats up a warm compress for a friend who has a stomach ache.

  • It’s when a friend gives up what they want so that their friend can have it instead.

  • It’s when a friend holds another friend accountable, no matter how hard it may be, because they care so much about them and want them to make better choices and become better friends.

  • It’s when a friend warns a friend to be more tough minded so that they are not taken advantage of.

  • It’s when a parent does so much and drops everything to be there for their child.

From our Founder "We have many heroes in our midst every single day and we are so grateful for all of them."


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