Scholarship recipient plans for future while giving back

[BEAVER, W.Va.] David “Chris” Lusk earned a 4.0 in his spring classes at New River Community and Technical College while working approximately 40 hours at Chick-fil-A of Beckley Galleria and volunteering over 20 hours a week at Brian’s Safe House. “It took a lot of focus and dedication. There can be time for everything, it’s about prioritizing,” Lusk said.

His dedication was rewarded when he received a $2,500 Chick-fil-A Leadership Scholarship in May for the 2017-18 academic year. He was one of four team members from
Beckley area Chick-fil-A restaurants to apply for and be awarded a scholarship, but his story is very different from the other recipients.

Lusk was in the first graduating class of Wyoming East High School and went on to attend Bluefield State College. He had begun using drugs at 16, but his use became
progressively worse when he moved to Bluefield. He dropped out of college, began waiting tables and spent everything he made on drugs.

“After 18 years of drug addiction, I hit rock bottom,” Lusk explained. “I was living in a ’74 model trailer with no insulation. It was 10 degrees outside, and I fell as I was walking to a family member’s house. I was so messed up that I couldn’t move.”

Lusk made it out of the ditch that night, and called his parents to ask for help. From there, he went to Brian’s Safehouse, a 12-month inpatient treatment program for men, in Mount Hope.

Today, Lusk has been sober for over two years. After graduating from Brian’s Safehouse he began working at Chick-fil-A and volunteering at the safehouse.

“Most of my life I’ve been self-centered. Now my focus is on helping others,” he said. “If I can encourage others or teach them about finding hope, it’s important for me to do so.” Lusk is currently taking summer classes at New River CTC, but plans to transfer to Concord University in the next year to study accounting. For information on admissions and the programs offered at New River CTC, email or call 866-349-3739.

New River Community and Technical College serves nine counties in southeastern West Virginia from the Greenbrier Valley Campus (Lewisburg), Mercer County Campus (Princeton), Nicholas County Campus (Summersville) and Raleigh County Campus (Beaver/Beckley).