After a national search, Johnson University has selected Dametraus Jaggers to be the director of its Future of Hope Institute, which is funded in large part by the Lilly Endowment Inc. Jaggers is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in Higher Education Administration with an emphasis in assessment and accountability, and research.
Jaggers is well-suited for this role, with a long history of leadership in higher education and pastoral ministry, having served as an associate director of the Office of Multicultural Student Life at the University of Tennessee. Prior to that, he led and provided direction for the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Multicultural Student Center at Ohio State University at Mansfield. Most recently, he was the associate and collegiate minister at New Covenant Baptist Church.
“I am both honored and excited by the opportunities that we will have to bring together the best that Knoxville has to offer (our youth) with the resources of Johnson University and the Lilly Foundation to equip and empower future leaders in our community to be change agents in Knoxville and beyond,” Jaggers said.
The Future of Hope program is designed to serve as a capstone experience for student leaders from Knoxville’s many effective youth ministries by integrating theological reflection, cultural analysis, spiritual formation, and vocational discernment.
Each summer, a cohort of high-potential high school students, primarily from Knoxville’s Empowerment Zone neighborhoods, will spend one week living, learning, and serving together, after which students will spend six months collaborating with mentors from partner agencies across Knoxville to develop and implement a service project that provides a concrete response to one of the challenging issues facing the city.