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Leadership journey comes full circle for two adult participants

YouthLeaders

The leadership journey has come full-circle for two past participants of the Carter County Youth Leadership Program.
Cloudland High School graduate Lucas Hitechew and Hampton High School graduate Nathan Dugger both participated in the youth leadership program while in high school. Now, Hitechew is an intern with Milligan College working with the current youth leaders and Dugger is a member of the current Carter County Adult Leadership Program.
Hitechew said that completing the youth leadership program was demanding, but that working as a leader of the current program presented a new challenge to him.
“On this side, it is more challenging,” he said. “We are working with the students and are helping them to see how the community works and how they can be leaders.”
Hitechew said the skills he learned while being a youth leader helped him while attending college at East Tennessee State University in the Roan Scholar’s program and as a member of the Student Government Association.
Milligan College Public Relations Director and Youth Leadership Director Chandrea Shell said that Hitechew offered a great deal of skill to the youth leadership program. He will work with different aspects of the program, such as personality testing and Who We Are Counts program.
“He was a part of the program in the past, and what he learned while in the Roan Scholar program is what we look for in someone who will be working with our student leaders,” Shell said. “The students look up to him because he is a young leader. He is a college graduate. He was a student athlete and in the band.”
Hitechew said she hopes the opportunity of working with the youth leadership program gives him the chance to share with others how important it is to be a leader.
“I want for these kids to gain confidence in themselves,” Hitechew said. “I want them to know that it doesn’t take superpowers to be a leader. Anyone can be a leader. Being yourself is enough.”
Dugger said he is looking forward to the opportunity of completing the adult leadership program and learning more about Carter County.
“In youth leadership, the focus was on learning to serve in the community,” he said. “The adult program has been geared more toward the history of the county and learning where we were and where we are going. Both programs do have a focus on service learning, which is important.”
Dugger said the biggest lesson for him from the youth leadership program was learning to trust others when working as a group. He said this message has stayed with him through college and now into the workforce.
“For a long time, I was the person that thought if you want something done right you need to do it yourself,” he said. “Learning to rely on others and trust that they will do the job right was the biggest lesson for me.”
In the adult program, Dugger is looking forward to learning more about the county’s history.
“I grew up here,” he said. “This is home. I am excited to learn more about the county.”
Dugger is an East Tennessee State University graduate and is now the coordinator of Special Programs at ETSU.