Leaders of Tomorrow talk about their experiences

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Yukon Progress, Yukon Review
Members of the 2018-19 Yukon High School Leaders of Tomorrow class take the stage during the Feb. 14 Yukon Chamber of Commerce luncheon inside the Events Center at 10 West Main. The 17 YHS freshmen who completed the 20th annual program received T-shirts and were congratulated by Yukon Chamber CEO Pam Shelton (front row, left) and longtime supporter David Goodwin of RCB Bank (front row, second from left). Leadership advisor Darryl Andrews (front row, right) has coordinated Leaders of Tomorrow since it began in fall 1998. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer

Yukon school and business leaders anticipate great achievements by graduates of a 20th annual student leadership program.

Seventeen members of Yukon High School’s 2018-19 Leaders of Tomorrow class talked about the lessons they learned from participating in the program during the Feb. 14th Yukon Chamber of Commerce luncheon inside the Events Center at 10 West Main. The luncheon served as a “graduation” for students who recently completed the seven-phase program.

“They did a great job,” YHS Leadership advisor Darryl Andrews told business leaders in the audience. “I’ve enjoyed working with these kids and seeing their growth.
“I look for them to do great things in the future.”

Yukon chamber CEO Pam Shelton said YHS Leaders of Tomorrow “has a special place in my heart.”

“I’ve seen great things happen from this group,” said Shelton, a former Yukon school teacher. “Good luck!”

Each fall, YHS freshmen are hand-selected for Leaders of Tomorrow.

“It is open to all students,” advisor Andrews said. “This program is for proven leaders, potential leaders and non-traditional leaders.

“I always enjoy seeing those students who complete the program and return to become active members who support the community.”

Several past YHS Leaders of Tomorrow graduates – including Yukon Chamber of Commerce President Avery Moore – were in the audience at the Feb. 14th luncheon.

YHS freshmen who completed the 2018-19 YHS Leaders of Tomorrow program are: Ayden Burns, Katie Clark, Angelina Chacko, Caleb Cochran, Alisyn Dunn, Grace Hasty, Renee Hollars, Emily Islas, Megan John, Abigail Joseph, Josh Joseph, Taylor McMahon, Kenna Priest, Abigail Rawlings, Kaylee Ritchey, Maggie Scott, and Madison Wright.

These 17 students took the stage at the Valentine’s Day Yukon chamber luncheon to talk about the seven activities that comprised the 2018-19 Leaders of Tomorrow program: Personality testing, professional day/business site tour, public speaking exercise, ropes challenge course, Ronald McDonald House service project, mock city council meeting, and University of Central Oklahoma leadership academy.

Several students discussed how the program helped them learn valuable leadership techniques, challenge themselves, make new friends, and build relationships.

The 2018-19 YHS Leaders of Tomorrow program concluded at the February chamber luncheon, where each student receiving a special T-shirt.

As part of having these YHS freshmen “get out of their comfort zone,” advisor Andrews did not tell them they’d be speaking to Yukon chamber members until they were on the bus headed to the luncheon venue.

Andrews has coordinated Leaders of Tomorrow since the program began in 1998 through the efforts of then-Yukon chamber President David Goodwin, a longtime Yukon banker. Goodwin has been an advocate, cheerleader and chaperone since the start.

“We appreciate your support and look forward to next year,” Andrews told the lunch crowd.
Yukon’s longtime Leadership and Student Council advisor encouraged parents of current eighth graders to contact him about the next Leaders of Tomorrow class.