Testing limits, stretching boundaries: The Roan Outdoor Leadership Challenge

Well before fall term classes begin, this year’s incoming freshman class of Roan Scholars will start their ETSU career with the Roan Outdoor Leadership Challenge – a week-long experience intended to challenge each student physically, mentally, and emotionally; to help them test their limits and stretch the boundaries of their personal “comfort zone” - all while building bonds with their classmates and learning to leverage others’ strengths to overcome their own weaknesses.

From initial challenge events on the ETSU campus, the Scholars will travel to various parts of TN and NC, spending time on the water, in the air, and on the Appalachian Trail as they kayak, hike, camp, and participate in other outdoor activities. Led by staff from ETSU’s Center for Physical Activity (CPA), the week will also offer the Scholars opportunities to reflect on their experiences, and help develop confidence and other skills necessary for strong leadership.

Members of the Roan Class of 2017 are:

James Grindstaff, from Elizabethton, is a graduate of Unaka High School, where he captained the football team and served as senior class treasurer. Active within the Stoney Creek community, James volunteers with numerous local organizations, including the local “Clean Teens” program and a local elementary school. He plans to pursue a career in the environmental science field.

Carlee Haas graduated from North Greene High School, where she co-founded an anti-bullying awareness club and founded the “To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA)” organization, which coordinates peer and professional counseling for students and addresses mental-health related issues. Also involved in a number of other school and community organizations, her career plans include attending medical school and becoming a surgeon.

Taylor Martin is a Sullivan Central High School graduate and member of the Bristol Youth Leadership program, who is also heavily involved as a youth leader in local community and church activities. A varsity soccer player, student minister with Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), and member of the school’s award-winning Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) team, Taylor plans to pursue a career in nursing.

Chandler Parris, from Canton, NC, graduated from Pisgah High School as the first-ever female member (and president) of the school’s Key Club, as well as a student council class representative. Serving as a mentor in as part of programs for both Pisgah freshmen and local elementary school students, she is also active outside of school, volunteering with the local Relay for Life event, a local soup kitchen, and the “World Changers” organization. She plans to pursue a career in pharmacy.

Millie Robinson, from Johnson City, is a graduate of Science Hill High School. There, she was the co-founder and president of the Science Hill Ambassadors Club, vice president of the National Beta Club, and chapter president of the school’s Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) team. An assistant tennis coach, tutor, and Sunday School teacher, she has also volunteered with the Rise Up! mentoring program and hopes to eventually pursue a career in the mental health care field.