Catawba Valley Community College students Gabriel “Ben” Ou of Taylorsville and James White of Claremont were recently awarded the first Mike Bradley Memorial Scholarship.

Both students received a $500 scholarship to fund their education.

Ou is enrolled in the Automotive Systems Technology associate degree program. He serves as secretary of the college’s SkillsUSA chapter and president of the Automotive Club. He was named Student of the Semester fall 2014 and was nominated by his peers to participate in the Student Leadership Academy. He also serves as chairman of the Hawksnest Project, a student-run pantry to provide food for hungry students. Ben is the son of Lidia and George Ou of Taylorsville and is active in his church youth group.

“Ben is a perfect fit for this scholarship, not only because of his willingness to learn and help his classmates learn, but also because of his desire to help others in the community,” said Automotive Systems Technology Program Director and faculty member Shawn Mull. “Ben demonstrates generosity and character well beyond his years, and it will be a pleasure to see what the future holds for this fine young man of integrity.”

White is enrolled in the Heating, Ventilating and Refrigeration diploma program and plans on complete it and an associate degree in general occupational technology next year. He has many years of work experience in the land surveying business and mechanical field as a pipe welder. He is an excellent student and has achieved high honors at CVCC for three successive semesters. He and his wife have two children and are active members of Springs Road Baptist Church.

“James is one of the best students I’ve had,” said Heating & Air Conditioning faculty member Jody Lail. “He works hard in the classroom and takes extra time on lab exercises. The notes he takes and the questions he asks in class makes you proud to have a student of his caliber.”

Established by the Association of Community College Facility Operations in 1992, the Bradley Memorial Scholarship was named this year in honor of Mike Bradley by his long-time employer Brady Services. Bradley served as an outspoken supporter of and advocate for ACCFO. In his honor, Brady Services funded the annual scholarship to be given to students at a member college pursuing a degree in automotive, air conditioning, heating and refrigeration or industrial technologies through the ACCFO organization.

ACCFO members are employed as maintenance directors, managers, supervisors, physical plant managers and foremen employed by North Carolina Community Colleges to oversee physical plant operations and buildings and grounds maintenance.

CVCC is an accredited comprehensive community college serving Catawba and Alexander counties. Approximately 4,500 students are enrolled in college credit courses and more than 10,000 students are enrolled in short-term, non-credit learning opportunities. It offers programming in Hickory, Newton and Taylorsville and in many community and workplace locations. For more information, visit

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