Timmons Hoping To Make A Difference at Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy


New Director at Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy Colonel Edward W Timmons

Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy has a new director and under this new director a revived passion to make a difference. Colonel (Ret) Edward W. Timmons, the new Director of NC Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy stated, “My first day of work was November 25, 2013.  I was and still am extremely excited. It is an honor and privilege to train, teach, mentor and coach the future leaders of our state or country. Our youth are the next generation; furthermore, this is a “Second Chance” program. It is a fantastic opportunity to potentially save lives and souls. Everyone needs a chance, opportunity or assistance at some point and time. Therefore, I want parents, students, counselors, teachers, attorneys, judges, principals, and probation officials to know that Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy is a possible option for “At risk or at Level” 16 to 18-year-old youth. It is important for our youth to know that we want them to “Dream, Believe and Achieve”.”

Col. Timmons remarked on his qualifications for such an important position, “Recently, I retired from the United States Army as a Colonel (senior field grade officer) with 32 years of distinguished military service with a dual Master’s Degree (Administration of Justice and Management from Webster University, St. Louis, MO). Plus, I hold a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.”

Continuing Timmons commented, “My teaching experience is: United States Army Infantry School, Airborne School, Jump Master School and Pathfinder Schools; Assistant Professor of Military Science at North Carolina State University and Instructor for Central Texas College, Texas in Criminal Justice.”

Sharing with us some of his family history Timmons explained, “I am what most people call a “military brat”. I come from a military family of six (4-girls and 2-boys). While stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, my father retired from the military in Fayetteville (1969). My father died when I was 15-years old and my resilient mother finished raising the family. I went to high school (Pine Forest and Westover) in Fayetteville, North Carolina. My lovely wife Charlene and I have four sons: Edward Jr. (Eddie), Morgan, Gabriel and Caleb.”

“At the moment,” stated Timmons, “I am not currently planning to move to Sampson County. I only live 40 miles from Sampson County in Fuquay-Varina.”

With remarkable passion for the young men and women at the facility, Timmons stated, “My goal is to make Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy the Premier Academy of the 21st Century. I would like to see the academy graduating more than 130 cadets a class and expand. I have always worked with youth (Boy Scouts, Church, Athletics, Coaching, Teaching, Tutoring, etc.) This is an incredible opportunity to give back and help someone other than ourselves. What can be more important than saving a life and the value/price of a life?”

According to the Colonel, “North Carolina has over 21,000 high school dropouts or expellees a year according to what source you read. The United States as a nation loses 1.2 million high school student dropouts a year which is a student lost every 26 seconds – equaling 7,000 a day. Approximately 75% of the crimes are committed by high school dropouts.” The value of Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy is as follows: – $42,479,519 in Federal Funding to North Carolina – 3,806 graduates from 92 of 100 counties – 2,642 General Education Diplomas awarded – Approximately 358 Enlistments into the Armed Services (includes the NC National Guard) – 344,544 hours of Service to the Community and State of North Carolina – 4,810 Voluntary Mentors recruited and trained – Approximately 25% have enrolled in college or trade schools

Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy cost benefits are: – Motivated youth – 90% are employed, enlisted or in school, – Drug, Alcohol, and Smoke free environment – Physically fit through the President’s Physical Fitness Award criteria – Volunteerism (Cadets and Mentors) – Life Coping Skills (Each Cadet designs a written life plan) – AmeriCorps N.C. Membership opportunity – North Carolina Community College student pool after graduation – Economic stimulus to rural Southeastern North Carolina (67 employees) – Positive Community relations (City, County, Local Churches)

In closing Colonel Timmons replied, “If I can save, change or impact only one potential life at a time, it is worth it!”