Xavier Wortham, executive director of the Oxford Housing Authority, was presented the John Penn Award for Outstanding Citizenship on Monday evening at the annual meeting and banquet of the Granville County Chamber of Commerce.
He humbles me every time I am with him because of his dogged determination to improve the lot of so many in our community,” said Jackie Sergent, the mayor of Oxford who made the presentation in the Vance-Granville Community College Civic Center.
Wortham serves the community, Sergent said, “by taking the meaning of his day job and doing more with it than anyone could imagine, by nurturing the habit of consistently trying to meet the requests that come to him from all corners, and by identifying fundamental needs in the community and stepping in to develop systems to address them.”
Sergent cited the numerous value-added activities Wortham conducts at the Housing Authority and listed the many offices and memberships he has held in the community.
In accepting the award, Wortham said, “Everything Jackie said would not be possible without the support of a lot of people.”
He thanked the staff of the Housing Authority and “all of you who do anything for our children. Thank you for this honor.”
Wortham, grew up in Granville County and graduated from J.F. Webb High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Winston-Salem State University, studied at the Institute of Real Estate Management in Atlanta and received a degree from Rutgers University’s Center for Government Service.
The award, presented annually to recognize outstanding citizenship and contributions to the county, was named for Granville County resident John Penn, one of three North Carolinians who signed the Declaration of Independence.