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For three new scholarships for high school seniors, it’s not top grades or a standout hoop shot that count.

It’s character.

The Character Council of Western New York has partnered with a Michigan-based foundation to award three $1,000 scholarships to students who demonstrate integrity and character in their daily lives.

The idea, organizers said, is to demonstrate to students the importance of 49 character traits that range from generosity to truthfulness.

“Typically, many of these scholarships go out to the best athlete or the top students,” said David Esposito, managing partner at Harvest Time Partners Inc. “These really are not attributable to, perhaps, the fame or accomplishment of a particular academic platform or an athletic performance. It’s more on the demonstration of consistent, strong character of an individual in school.”

Esposito and his wife, Tracy, of Kalamazoo, Mich., created Harvest Time Partners Foundation to support character-building opportunities for children. The foundation and the Character Council expect to announce a related grant program for local schools next month, Esposito said.

The foundation has made a three-year commitment to provide the scholarships, Esposito said, but he expects it will be an ongoing initiative beyond then.

The Character Council of Western New York, based in Hamburg, conducts youth and business seminars focused on character and works with area schools to “create a culture of character.”

The scholarships will be awarded to three students from Erie, Cattaraugus, Niagara, Orleans, Chautauqua or Allegheny counties who will enroll full-time in a college or trade school for the fall of 2014. The deadline to apply is Jan. 15. Applications are available online at charactercouncilwny.org.

email: djgee@buffnews.com