Students from the emPOWERment project use CCS Cards

Empowering young people — with a little help from CCS Cards

Craig Browne

I found Bethany, a quiet, slight sixth grade girl, waiting for me outside the classroom after the very first emPOWERment project class.

She said, “You know all of those good qualities the kids listed on the white board?” Of course, I did. I’d asked them to describe the qualities of a person they really admired. They came up with about 25 of them — qualities such as patience, kindness, honesty, trustworthiness, loyalty, courage, discipline, on and on. When I responded that, yes, I did remember them, she said quietly, “None of them belong to me.” Her words broke my heart.

I assured her that they all were within her now, and we were going to discover even more of them together during the program. We started right then, the two of us, in the empty hallway, to talk about all the good that was within her, the POWER Qualities she could start expressing from that moment forward.

I’ve never forgotten this experience. It made me wonder how many young students feel exactly this way every day …


This touching story was sent to us by a fabulous friend, Susan A Adams, all the way from Omaha, Nebraska. For many years now Susan has been employing CCS Cards in so many important conversations. She is a professional communicator, teacher and author (and a CCS fan!).

Some of you may know of our Coming Out, Staying Close CCS kit — the development of this kit and the extraordinary supporting videos, was a collaboration initiated and driven by Susan.

The emPOWERment project

For many years now, Susan has been very hard at work developing what is called, the emPOWERment project — a valuable program to help sixth graders develop ‘POWER’ qualities like respect for themselves and others, confidence, kindness, and reaching for their dreams.

We are very proud to say that the children use CCS Cards many times during the program to help them consider and express their thoughts and experiences. Leonie Cutts and I travelled to Omaha earlier this year to meet some of the students and participate in some of the recorded sessions that will be part of the program. It was thrilling to see and hear these terrific young people fruitfully sharing with each other with the cards — honest, emotional, articulate and touching.

As one 11-year-old boy said,

“I love these cards! They help me say what I want to say!”

Today, Susan has announced the launching of a GoFundMe campaign to help her complete the final stage of the emPOWERment project program and we wanted to share this with you to support her in her efforts.


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Craig Browne

Craig is co-founder of CCS Corporation, co-developer of the CCS, a designer, educator, product developer and award-winning game maker.