Name: John Williford, L.P.C.
Academic Rank: Assistant Professor, Chair
Department: Psychology and Education
School: School of Liberal Arts
Office: DH 327
Education: M.S., California Baptist University
B.A.B.L., Northeastern Bible College
Leading with a Sense of Purpose
John Williford is an award-winning teacher and licensed professional counselor who grew up in the small rural town of Ahoskie, NC. When he graduated from college, he began teaching, first in high school and then at the college level. Today, he is chair of the Department of Psychology and Education at County College of Morris (CCM). But the most notable thread running through his life is the desire to help others.
“I’m very involved in the inner city community of Newark, feeding the hungry, providing clothing and working alongside my wife, who runs the Passport of Success Program out of the Willing Heart Community Center,” he says. Every year, the center gives out 4,000 book bags filled with school supplies to area students. He also holds seminars addressing violence in the inner city and lectures across the East Coast
on diversity, violence in the inner city and family relationships.
Speaking Into People’s Lives
At CCM, he enjoys the process of engaging young people in their learning.
“I like to see people move from passive observers to passionate partakers, embracing new opportunities,” says Williford. “Some students come in with intellectual challenges and I like to encourage them to move forward. It’s a two-year program. If it takes you four years, that’s OK. I do the same thing at the center. Maybe you’ve suffered with drug and mental health issues, but the fact that you’ve come through this door means that there’s a new beginning,” he explains.
“My overall vision is to encourage my faculty in their development and to encourage students in their development. I’ve watched some of my students struggle. The same students who struggled are now in graduate and Ph.D. programs and that’s because they had someone to speak into their lives.”
Williford places a high priority on helping people to find their life purpose.
“I believe that we are all here to leave a lasting impression,” he says. “I believe that people are basically good and people make mistakes, but people can recover from their mistakes and do some wonderful and awesome things. People are not always born into wonderful situations, but you have inside of you what you need to make positive changes for yourself. Things can happen, but we are not victims forever. Life is what you choose to make it.”