By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor
A local Morgan County High School (MCHS) junior, Laterica Dumas, has been named this year’s Youth of the Year for the Madison-Morgan Boys and Girls Club. “She has gone above and beyond [as] Youth of the Year,” Said LaChrislyn Goss, unit director of the Madison-Morgan Boys and Girls Club. “She has been a wonderful part of the Boys and Girls Club for a long time,” said Nancy Vaughn, cochairman of the Madison-Morgan Boys and Girls Club. Laterica, now 17-years-old, joined the Boys and Girls Club nine years ago, growing into an inspiring leader among her peers. Laterica is planning on graduating high school next year before attending college to study nursing. Laterica is honored to be chosen as this year’s Youth of the Year by the Boys and Girls Club, an organization that has meant so much for her these last nine years. “I think it’s another place for me that I can call home,” said Laterica. “It’s a safe place, you get to hang with your friends and be yourself.” Laterica is from Madison, and lives with her mother, Roshanda Butler, and five siblings. She has three brothers and two sisters. Her favorite subject in school is American Literature and she is involved in the high school’s career pathway program for healthcare. She hopes to inspire her siblings and other local youth to keep on pressing toward a brighter future. “I think I could make a difference in some of our youth and some of our teams, by being a leader and leading them in the right direction,” said Laterica.
“It’s important to have a positive state of mind and helping them believe they can achieve whatever goals they have…I like to help people.” Laterica was awarded a new I-pad and a $500 scholarship toward any college. Laterica enjoys reading and writing. She volunteers at the local nursing home and is joining the new journalism club offered at that Boys and Girls Club this spring. “I like to write about the things happening in our community,” said Laterica. Although Laterica was nervous to speak in front of a crowd, she was grateful for the opportunity to speak at honorary event for the Youth of the Year at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center last Thursday. “It’s hard at first, but once you do it for a little while, you kind of get used to it,” said Laterica. “It’s good to learn how to speak in front of a crowd.” Sheila Sanders, the teen coordinator at the Madison-Morgan Boys and Girls Club, believes Laterica is the perfect role model for her peers. “She’s very inspiring to all of us,” said Sanders.
“She is inspiring to all youth in the teen club and she is a very dedicated heart for volunteering and she has a very kind and loving spirit.” Sanders thanks Mike and Linda Conrads for their generous donations to the Youth of the Year program. “They are one of our biggest donors and help make this all possible,” said Sanders. Laterica is excited to pursue the future ahead of her, aiming to encourage others to join her on the same path. “My main goal is to be a leader to our youth and teams at the high school,” said Laterica. “I want to show them how to move in the right direction, have a positive attitude, and make good decisions for their lives.”