On April 20, 2021, Edward E. Ledford, former Carolina Youth Development Center (CYDC) CEO and community advocate, passed away surrounded by family and friends. Ledford lived a life of service to children and families in the Charleston community. To honor his legacy, CYDC and the City of Charleston presented a resolution recognizing his impact on the Lowcountry during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
“Mr. Ledford’s lifetime of work and influence continue to be very real and impactful and we are thankful for this legacy of caring for so many in our community,” said CYDC CEO Beverly Hardin.”He had boundless energy and creativity and a passion for making a difference. r We hope this well-deserved recognition will honor his long legacy of service and be a meaningful expression of our gratitude to his family. Additionally, we hope it will also inspire others to consider how their purpose and passions might align to make our corner of the world a better place.“
Ledford, who served as CYDC CEO for 30 years, led the effort to merge two organizations serving Lowcountry children and families, Horizon House and Oak Grove Children’s Home which became CYDC. His leadership and passion for CYDC also helped expand the organization’s services to the Berkeley County community with the development of the Callen-Lacey Center for Children.
“This [recognition by the city] means a lot to us,” said his wife Jill Ledford. “Ed lived a long life of service to the community, he loved Charleston, he loved the Lowcountry and he was always working tirelessly to make it better. We appreciate the opportunity to share his legacy with you and we hope his life work will inspire others to love their community and their neighbors.”
Ledford not only had an impact on the community via his work with CYDC, but he was also awarded Social Worker of the Year from the National Association of Social Workers Coastal SC Chapter where he served as President, worked as a Field Education Liaison with USC College of Social Work, and served as an adjunct professor with local colleges, an advisor on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Juvenile Delinquency Prevention and as President for SC Social Welfare Forum. He was also an avid runner and member of the Charleston Running Club and inducted into the Cooper River Bridge Run Hall of Fame.
“During his tenure at CYDC, he was the ‘go to’ person to make sure the needs of children and families were being met,” said Hardin. “He will be greatly missed however we will work hard to continue to uphold the legacy he left behind. His light still shines brightly across the Lowcountry.”