Over the last 3+ decades -- after graduating from LAS and studying social work at the University of North Carolina -- Charles Odell ‘73 has worked in addictions treatment; currently, he is the CEO and President of Dilworth Center, a non-profit substance use disorder treatment program. In his work, he often asks: "What can I do to create an environment that is conducive to recovery?”
Recently, Charles had the opportunity to give directly back to and foster that sense of supportive community within the LAS student body. In coordination with our Residential Life team, Charles presented on the dangers of vaping to our middle and early high school students.
In his addiction treatment work, Charles focuses on creating a safe place that echoes the other supportive communities he’s had in his life, such as those at LAS and in his hometown of Charlotte, NC. Of course, this echoing back to LAS is one of the reasons he prioritizes staying connected to the school and its global community.
“The day I gave the presentation, I looked up a few of the live streaming videos of Leysin. It just happened to be one of those days when you see the carpet of clouds covering the whole valley, one of my favorite vistas when I was a student. Those visuals brought back so many good feelings and memories; it was a feeling of instant connection, and reminded me why I like being able to contribute. Leysin gave a lot to me and I appreciate the opportunity to give back.”
That’s one of the boons of the LAS community, Charles notes, because the LAS Global Family is “connected with people throughout the world: we have alumni everywhere! That gives you immediate access to pretty much every country that these people live in. The resources within that country. Here I am in NC, but I have connections throughout the United States. If someone was interested in pursuing a career in counseling, substance use disorder counseling, I’d be glad to help them.” This way of staying connected, he says, is bountiful not just because you can be of assistance to others in the school community -- be they students or fellow alumni -- but also because “being of use to the school is a way of reconnecting to the school, with all the fond memories associated with living there. It’s a win-win!”
Thanks so much to Charles for offering your time and expertise to our current LAS students!