Victoria Homan: Leading By Example

by
Christine Grupenhoff

Have you ever wondered why people do what they do? Did you ever think about why people become character coaches? In the case of Victoria Homan, she became a character coach because, “It was the right thing to do.” Homan is one of eight individuals who stepped up this past school year to be a character coach for the 9th grade at Kent Island High School. Even though she had been a coach for the second grade at Kent Island Elementary School, she volunteered for the new assignment when Jacki Carter, Coordinator, sent out the call for people to assist at the school. Homan further explains, “I grew up in a household that if you said, ‘Someone should…’ then you were responsible to be that someone. If you want the world to be a better place am I not responsible for doing whatever is in my power to make it better?”

Homan learned first about Character Counts! by driving by the billboard that was on Route 50 on her way to work for several years. Working on the Western Shore never gave her the opportunity to become a coach. She elaborates, “When my work situation changed, I put becoming a coach on my priority list. My husband, Jim, and I talked often about becoming coaches, and when I joined the staff at the QAC Chamber of Commerce, all of the pieces finally fell into place.”

As one of her strongest character traits, responsibility plays a key role for Homan as the Queen Anne’s County Chamber of Commerce Member Services Administrator. The Chamber is a strong advocate for Character Counts! giving Homan time from her busy schedule to coach at the school. The Chamber actively supports the Business of Character Program, also. Homan continues, “This is a great program, and so easy to do. I don’t think businesses realize they can easily support the Character Counts initiative in ways other than being a coach. Treat your customers, co-workers and employees with the Six Pillars as a guide.”

Homan believes that the Chamber of Commerce utilizes the Six Pillars as a framework for their own business practices. “As a business organization, we represent 600 businesses, roughly half of the businesses in the county. We couldn’t have attained this if we weren’t treating our members based on the pillars of character.” Businesses have asked the Chamber of Commerce to help with identifying employees that were responsible and who would respect customers. Homan continues, “The best way we could help was to encourage as many businesses as we could to become coaches and to become businesses of character.”

Leading by example is equally important to Homan. When she first began her experience as a coach, she asked a fellow coach that she respects to share some of his ideas. His response was, “Say what you mean. Mean what you say. And always do what you say.” In other words, lead by example. Homan states, “It’s great to go into our schools and teach the importance of character, but if one student sees me not practicing what I teach then my credibility is gone. Why should they listen to me if I don’t live what I teach? All of the great teachers and leaders in history have led by example from Jesus Christ to Winston Churchill and many in between.”

When Homan is not working at the Chamber of Commerce or devising a new lesson plan to really reach the students she coaches, she spends time with her husband, and her Welsh corgi, Wellington. She has also just completed the architecture program at Anne Arundel Community College. Homan and her husband are also members of the National Building Museum and the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center.

With her infectious smile, Homan’s enthusiasm for Character Counts! and coaching is contagious. Sharing her zest for coaching, she adds, “You will love it. I was so nervous the first time I walked into the second grade classroom. I was sure they would be able to smell my fear and would just eat me up. I made it through that first lesson and I was hooked. By the time I had finished my first month, I was so excited to go see my class. Some days I think I got more out of it than they did, but it always was the best part of my week.”

Character Counts! is genuinely pleased to have Victoria Homan as part of our team and thanks her for her commitment to the youth of Queen Anne’s County. In Homan’s own words, “As Rene Dubois said, ‘Think Globally, Act Locally.’ Get involved and be an example for our young people. Even if you can’t be a coach, diligently practice the Six Pillars in your daily life and you will be absolutely amazed at how the world around you changes. While love isn’t one of the Six Pillars I find that all of the pillars connect back to this seventh ‘unspoken’ pillar. If you have love for your fellow human beings all Six Pillars, responsibility, trustworthiness, citizenship, caring, fairness, and respect, come naturally from love.”

For more information about Chamber of Commerce visit their website at www.qacchamber.com. For information about Character Counts! visit the website at www.peopleofcharacte.org.

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