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BridgeValley Student to Join National Addiction Leadership Academy

BridgeValley Community & Technical College first year Human Services Youth Development student James Nichols has been named to the SAFE (Stop the Addiction Fatality Epidemic) Project Collegiate Recovery Leadership Academy (CLRA).

The CRLA is an academic year-long fellowship program for students who are passionate about the intersection of collegiate recovery, leadership, and advocacy. Students who are accepted into the CRLA will implement a collegiate recovery focused impact project on their campus, receive advocacy training, attend two in-person events, and be part of a supportive cohort of peers from around the country.

“I am extremely proud of James for his work to support BridgeValley students in recovery,” Carla Blankenbuehler, Director of Counseling Services at BridgeValley said. “The resources and collaboration he will receive from his peers will not only be beneficial to our campus, but campuses across the country.”

As part of the academy, Nichols will attend the SAFE Project Collegiate Recovery Leadership Academy Summit in Washington, DC this month, the SAFE Project Leadership Retreat in June of next year, and receive support to plan and implement a collegiate recovery focused impact project on campus as well as personalized educational and advocacy training.

Previous Leadership Academy classes have started support groups, installed mental health first aid kits around campus, hosted a 5K, and created a peer mentoring program.

About BridgeValley Community & Technical College

BridgeValley Community and Technical College promotes student success, prepares a skilled workforce, and builds tomorrow’s leaders by providing access to quality higher education. BridgeValley Community and Technical College is the college of opportunity for a diverse learner population, offering leading-edge technology, innovative ideas, and dynamic service to our students and our communities.  

 BridgeValley Community and Technical College was founded on March 20, 2014, and serves a seven-county region including Fayette, Kanawha, Clay, Putnam, Cabell, Mason, and Wayne counties. The college operates two campuses in Montgomery and South Charleston, along with the addition of the Advanced Technology Center. BridgeValley Community and Technical College is a public institution of higher education independently accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges and a member of the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia. 

 Promoting student success, preparing a skilled workforce, and building tomorrow’s leaders. 

About the SAFE Project

The SAFE Project is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit committed to overcoming the epidemic of addiction in the United States. SAFE was founded in 2017 by Admiral James and Mary Winnefeld, following the loss of their 19-year old son Jonathan to an accidental opioid overdose. Using a collaborative, multi-pronged and non-partisan approach, our key initiatives focus on SAFE Campuses, SAFE Communities, SAFE Veterans and SAFE Workplaces.