GNTC Basic Law Enforcement students make $400 donation

May 27, 2021

Four Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) Basic Law Enforcement (BLE) graduates each donated $100 to the GNTC Foundation to assist future law enforcement students.

“This generous donation says a lot about these outstanding graduates and their belief in GNTC, especially in our Basic Law Enforcement program,” said GNTC President Dr. Heidi Popham. “They are truly paying it forward to benefit other students in the program.”

The $400 donation was made as a gift to the students’ instructor, Jim Pledger, program director and instructor of GNTC’s BLE program. According to graduate Zach Newman, his class wanted to honor Pledger with a gift that would help the next generation of law enforcement students.

“Usually a lot of classes will get the instructor (Pledger) a plaque or some type of gift,” said Newman. “At the same time, if we could help a future student achieve their goal we wanted to make that happen.”

For Joshua Walls, BLE graduate and GNTC Scholarship recipient, receiving financial aid can be a big relief. Being awarded a scholarship from the GNTC Foundation really made an impact for Walls and helped him pay for his classes.

“It made a huge difference for me,” said Walls. “I wanted to do that for someone else.”

(From left to right) Joshua Walls, Jose Ulibarri, Zachary Newman, Emily Dillard and Jim Pledger, program director and instructor of GNTC’s Basic Law Enforcement program.
(From left to right) Joshua Walls, Jose Ulibarri, Zachary Newman, Emily Dillard and Jim Pledger, program director and instructor of GNTC’s Basic Law Enforcement program.

The four graduates have begun careers in law enforcement with Newman working for the Ringgold Police Department, Walls for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Emily Dillard for the Walker County Sheriff’s Office and Joey Ulibarri for the Calhoun Police Department. The graduates finished the Basic Law Enforcement program earlier this month and will have the chance to participate in a formal commencement ceremony later this year.

“I am so thankful for the opportunities GNTC has given me,” said Walls. “Through the BLE program I got double the amount of training and it put me ahead of other police cadets.”

The GNTC Foundation offers 17 scholarships, including two specific to law enforcement and public safety programs. 

The GNTC Foundation Board of Trustees are Valerie Brown, Whitfield County; Phil Burkhalter, Floyd County; Linda Case (vice chair), Dade County; Jay LeGrande, Polk County; Gary McConnell, Chattooga County; Craig McDaniel, Floyd County; Sherrie Patterson (chair), Murray County; Damon Raines, Walker County; Becky Redd, Gordon County; Mitch Sanford, Whitfield County; Wil Stiles, Catoosa County; Jay Still, Whitfield County; Scott Tucker, Floyd County; Carolyn Walker, Walker County; and Doris White, Walker County.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma or a certificate in business, health, industrial or public service career paths. This past year, 11,820 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. GNTC has an annual credit enrollment of 8,591 students and an additional enrollment of 3,229 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training and Georgia Quick Start. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution. 

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