Maximizing Character is a youth organization that teaches and promotes character education, life skills and fosters social responsibility through community service. Maximizing Character was initially developed in 2011 by the Founder and Executive Director, Alicia R. Gaston as a practicum project during graduate school at Regent University. The project involved teaching character building lessons that aligned with academic standards to youth in a community-based setting. In 2013 Alicia established Maximizing Character LLC, along with her husband, Thomas Gaston in response to the growing concern for youth engaging in risk behaviors such as bullying, truancy, substance abuse, high school drop-outs and delinquency as well as the growing lack of self-worth, compassion and respect for others. Maximizing Character LLC provides character education and life skills to youth in educational and community-based settings. The program seeks to partner with parents, schools and community stakeholders in order to accomplish its mission to promote values, maximize good character and to help youth develop positive, productive lives.
Alicia R. Gaston is a behavioral health professional with over 20 years of combined professional and volunteer experience in youth development. Her experiences include quality assurance, mental health case management, homeless outreach, behavioral counseling in public school settings, teaching faith-based classes and speaking at youth and women’s conferences. Alicia is a graduate of Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and her Master of Education degree with an emphasis in Leadership in Character Development.