Newton man wins CVCC's President's Award

Staff Writer

Newton resident Chad Ledford recently received the 2017 President’s Award at Catawba Valley Community College. The honor is awarded annually for outstanding scholarship, leadership and college and community service.

Ledford is enrolled in the Associate in Arts degree on track to graduate next fall. He intends to transfer to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology and political science.

The youngest and first of his siblings to graduate from high school, Ledford married young, became a father and pursued a successful career in the hospitality industry. Despite his financial success, alcohol and illicit drugs took control of his life, and he was convicted of multiple crimes for which he was incarcerated.

After release, Ledford enrolled at CVCC and sought out opportunities to help others on campus and the community. He joined the Circle K International chapter and became involved in service projects benefitting the homeless, clients at the Pregnancy Care Center of Catawba Valley, Children’s Advocacy & Prevention Center, and victims of trauma.

He was elected CKI president and organized local groups to bring therapy dogs to campus for relaxation and positive mental health prior to exams.

After joining the CVCC Communications Club, he learned the how-to’s of debating and participated in debates with Lenoir-Rhyne University students. He recently became a North Carolina Certified Peer Support Specialist which allows him to volunteer with individuals who have addiction problems or mental health disorders. He volunteers at the Hickory Soup Kitchen.

Ledford intends to earn his dual doctorate in psychology and law and hopes to launch a non-profit to assist people who have experienced addiction, mental health disorders and inadequate legal representation in criminal or family matters.