Our Team

 Justin Riversjustin-rivers-head-shot
Founding Director

Justin is the program visionary of The Character Connection Initiative. He has synthesized nearly two decades of experience working with students, teachers, principals and parents into a fresh and impactful perspective on character education.

After seven years as an English Language Arts teacher at a New York Archdiocesan grade school, Justin spent ten years as Lead Educator at Friends of Nick, a character education organization. He developed program materials, trained teachers and instituted intentional character language into the classroom culture. He also co-developed and delivered a series of training modules to instruct partner educators in implementing the foundation’s groundbreaking “character exercises.”

Justin received a BA from Fordham University, with a double major in English and Communications. He is co-creator of “The Wonder City,” a graphic novel that re-imagines New York City’s entire history. He is the playwright and producer of “The Eternal Space,” an off-Broadway play that centers on the demolition of New York City’s Pennsylvania Station.