A Baylor professor wins a $2.6 million dollar grant to conduct research on today’s young people.

Dr. Sarah Schnitker is conducting research to advance character-building in adolescence.

The John Templeton Foundation gave the professor millions to fund “Character Strength Interventions in Adolescents.”

“You have a unique opportunity during adolescence to help teenagers shape their identities, and think about character as something that is important to them and they should foster in their live. So it is a great time to intervene,” says Dr. Schnitker.

The grant is geared toward developing programs engaging young people in places they already are, like churches and clubs.

The research is already benefiting Waco. Dr. Schnitker says they have been working with “The Cove”, a place that helps homeless teens, to see how exercise can influence character development. 

“How can you help adolescents become more patient, more joyful, more grateful. There are a lot of things we know from the science that we can do, but there are a lot of things that we don’t know,” Dr. Schnitker says.

But she and her team want to get others involved. They are looking to award up to $80,000 to anyone with an idea to improve character strength through technology.

“People in the community are welcome to apply for these grants, so you are not excluded if you are a local. You can also apply,” Dr. Schnitker says.

For applications, you can go here.