“Building Tomorrow’s Leaders Today” program set to begin

The NDSU Extension Service in Cavalier County has teamed up with a senior at Langdon Area High School to bring a new program to the area designed to get area youth interested in and more knowledgeable about government.


Posted on 10/1/16

By Melissa Anderson

“The “Building Tomorrow’s Leaders Today” program is an outcome of the Community Forums, NDSU Extension Service hosted across the state last fall gathering input on what our citizens saw as needs to be addressed,” NDSU Extension Agent  Macine Lukach said.

Community engagement was one of the three critical areas that emerged as something that the population wanted to see increased activity in. Community engagement also included the need to reinforce local leadership training for adults and youth to develop skills and confidence in leading and becoming more civically engaged.

“After attending a Public Issues Leadership Development Conference in Washington, DC this spring,” Lukach explained,”I was interested in doing something on the local level to address the need for community engagement and leadership development.

Lukach contacted Langdon Area High School Senior Dawson Schefter in May to see if he would be interested in working with her on creating a program for high school students. The two have been working diligently over the summer and early fall to bring their ideas to life.

“We brainstormed ideas and began putting the pieces together, and  “Building Tomorrow’s Leaders Today” is the avenue we are developing to address this need on the Cavalier County level,” Lukach said.

Helping youth develop important life skills is a major goal of the 4-H youth development programs. Life skills are skills that help an individual to be successful in living a productive and satisfying life. Life skills emphasized in 4-H that are reflected in this program include making decisions, solving problems, relating to others, planning and organizing, learning to learn, communicating with others and leading self and others.

“The goal of “Building Tomorrow’s Leaders Today” is to create learning partnerships that help adults and youth enhance their lives and communities. This is NDSU Extension Service’s purpose, and I believe it is truly reflected in this program,” Lukach said.

The newly created program will provide a great opportunity for high school students to develop and enhance leadership skills that they can practice while in high school and will benefit them throughout their lives.

“I’m excited to bring this opportunity to Cavalier County students to develop life-long leadership skills,” Lukach stated.

Over the three levels of the course, Schefter will lead discussion in a number of areas. Schefter envisions the program providing value to its participants well beyond their high school careers. A major goal of Schefter’s is to encourage those around him to pursue the public service opportunities that lie before them.

“The benefit we would see in Cavalier County, and by extension the state of North Dakota, would be immeasurable,” Schefter said.

Schefter believes that the lifeblood of small communities such as Langdon are those who are willing to take on some of the many leadership positions in the interest of maintaining a strong and vibrant community.

“As my peers and I become active in these roles, it is important that we are prepared; “Building Tomorrow’s Leaders, Today” will prepare its participants to fill these shoes and continue to invigorate communities like those we have in Cavalier County,” Schefter stated.

Building Tomorrow’s Leaders Today was made possible through donations and commitments from a number of area businesses and individuals. The Cavalier County Job Development Authority provided a majority of the funding for the program, and both Choice Financial and Farmers and Merchants State Bank have also been major contributors to the successful development of the program.

“We would like to express our most sincere gratitude for all of those who have supported the program, and we look forward to the continued involvement of the community,”  Lukach and Schefter stated.

The program begins with level one on November 5 with the two subsequent levels following on December 3 and February 12. Each level is approximately six hours and will cover a range of topics relating to government.

Those interested in registering for the program, please visit

For questions or more information please contact Macine Lukach at 701-256-2560 or email her at:

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