NOC project manager dedicated to improving young lives

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Photo above: John Leadem, NOC project manager, impacts so many in Beaufort.

The Neighborhood Outreach Connection’s mission is “to help all individuals in the community achieve…economic independence and personal fulfillment.” At the same time, John Leadem, project manager of the Beaufort NOC, is finding his own personal fulfillment helping the local branch of the program grow and become sustainable.

While working with AT&T, John was responsible for community outreach and it soon became the favorite part of his job. When he moved to Beaufort, he was eager to do his part to enrich the community and focused his efforts on getting an NOC started.

“I really want to see the NOC become an integral part of the community,” says John. “My goal is to see the NOC kids make it to college and be successful in life.”

NOC connects with community members through a strong presence in low-income neighborhoods. They establish program centers that provide educational, health service and workforce development support by bringing resources, services and technology into the neighborhood.

John is enthusiastic about the work that’s being done in Beaufort. “The team at Beaufort Elementary School is especially supportive and very engaged,” he says. “My NOC teachers are exceptional; they are the lifeblood of the program. They come every day with passion and a true love for the kids. The kids themselves are full of energy.”

With funding from the state of South Carolina, NOC opened two new learning centers – one at Marsh Pointe Community Center and a second at Parkview Apartments – in May of this year. The initiatives also received support from the Beaufort County School District, teachers and administrators from Beaufort Elementary School and the Beaufort community.

“Children from low-income families face a significant achievement gap in school and receive limited learning support outside the school,” John says. “More than 1,000 learning activities were completed in NOC’s Summer Virtual Learning Program and nearly 300 hours were spent on lessons. Almost across the board, students saw an improvement in their aptitude scores for all subjects.”

Johns says that each day at NOC brings a new adventure. He enjoys building support for the programs and seeing the impact they have on the children. NOC will soon introduce an after school learning program for middle school students in the community and they also plan to expand their preschool program.

The father of four adult children – Timothy, Caitlin, Evan and Charlotte – John enjoys speed walking five miles per day, rain or shine. If you’re ever in a conversation with him, be sure to ask him how he defended himself against an irate, but romantic, Parisian mime.

As he looks to the future, John is eager to continue his work with NOC and “make a difference in the lives of these kids and contribute to the quality of life in Beaufort.”

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