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Posted Apr 29, 2013
ALABAMA PUBLIC TELEVISION ANNOUNCES 2013 “YOUNG HEROES” Students Overcome Adversity and Inspire Others
April 24, 2013 – Alabama Public Television is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Alabama Young Heroes Awards, recognizing students in grades 9-12 who demonstrate the qualities of courage, determination, volunteerism, and a commitment to excellence. Five students were chosen from among nearly a hundred nominations submitted by teachers, guidance counselors and community leaders around the state.
Charles Caldwell Jr. – Ramsay High School, Birmingham
Samantha Davidson – Leroy High School, Leroy
Connor Davis – Boaz High School, Boaz
Josie Perry – Florence High School, Florence
Savannah Reid – Colbert County High School, Leighton
Each Young Hero will receive a $2500 scholarship, a notebook computer and other prizes as well. Connor Davis will receive an additional $1000 scholarship for receiving the Marissa Feigelson Community Service Award, a prize given to one Young Hero each year in recognition of his or her outstanding volunteer work.
About the Young Heroes
Charles Caldwell Jr.
Charles Caldwell Jr. has overcome a lot since tumors began to spread throughout his brain and spine when he was nine years old. But despite rounds of chemotherapy and surgeries he’s undergone since then and nerve damage to his legs and arms, Charles’ teachers says he never asks for special consideration, whether it is in classwork or the demanding job of playing in Ramsay High School’s marching band. Charles is active in several school teams and activities and volunteers at the McWane Science Center, Brother Bryan Mission, and the ministries of his church.
When Samantha Davidson began having arm and wrist pain at age 11, she was diagnosed with dystonia, a serious neurological movement disorder. Within a year she had to use a wheelchair to get to physical and occupational therapy sessions and frequent trips to the hospital. With the help of surgeries and Deep Brain Stimulation, Samantha is walking again, succeeding in school, and working with other young people facing similar medical problems. She is a member of the MacIntosh Volunteer Fire Department and secretary of their competition team.
Connor Davis’s long-time participation in athletics was cut short his freshman year at Boaz High School when doctors discovered he had Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the heart, lungs, eyes and spinal cord. Connor remained committed to sports in other ways though, serving as head student trainer, statistician, bookkeeper, videographer, scorekeeper and practice assistant. Connor is involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta Honor Society. He was selected by the faculty of his school for the American Citizenship Award and as the DAR Good Citizen for his class. For all four years, he has served as his class president.
While her mother battled substance abuse and mental illness, Josie Perry spent much of her childhood in foster homes and difficult situations. When her older sister was able to gain custody of Josie and bring her to Alabama, Josie seized the opportunity to excel. An excellent scholar, Josie is today the president of Florence High School’s chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America as well as the state secretary of the organization. She is vice-president of the Key Club and a member of both the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society. At the same time, she works an almost full-time job to help with household finances and volunteers at a local soup kitchen and an animal shelter. She also volunteers with the March of Dimes.
Savannah Reid is a senior at Colbert County High School in Leighton, Alabama. She is a member of the Future Business Leaders of America, the assistant editor of her school’s newspaper, a performer with the school’s choir, and a soloist in the school musical. Savannah volunteers with the local food bank and is currently involved in many of the community ministries coordinated by her house of worship, Leighton Baptist Church. Savannah overcame a shattered family situation, homelessness, and the tragic death of her sister to succeed academically and become an inspiration to her community.
Young Heroes Sponsors
The Young Heroes Awards program is made possible by the generous donations of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, Books-A-Million and Honda Manufacturing of Alabama. About Alabama Public Television Alabama Public Television is an educational resource for Alabamians of all ages, providing television production and programming, extensive online services, and outreach and engagement activities in communities throughout Alabama. America’s first statewide educational television network, APT today plays a vital role in Alabama education through its services for teachers and classrooms, parents and caregivers, reaching more citizens than any other educational organization in the state.
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Contact: Michael McKenzie Public Information Director Alabama Public Television 1-800-239-5233, ext. 123 firstname.lastname@example.org
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