Alabama Public Television Young Heroes of 2007

Joanna Smith

Vernon, Alabama
Lamar County High School

JoAnna is a senior at Lamar County High School. One of her nominating teachers wrote, “JoAnna is one of the most conscientious and hardest working student I have ever had.” She keeps her grades up, maintains a good attitude, never complains, and serves as an officer in numerous clubs and honorary societies. At the same time, JoAnna carries an heroic amount of responsibility. JoAnna’s mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when JoAnna was in junior high school. In 2004, her mother regressed drastically. JoAnna bathed her, fed her and sometimes just lay beside her as she slept. When JoAnna was a sophomore, her mother succumbed to a fatal heart attack. One month prior to the death of her mother, JoAnna’s father learned that both of his kidneys were shutting down due to diabetes. Still in mourning, JoAnna became her father’s caregiver, driving him to the doctor, seeing to his nightly dialysis treatments, cooking, cleaning, paying the bills, holding down a job and attending school. JoAnna’s father passed away shortly before the 2007 Young Heroes were announced.

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The Young Heroes Program is made possible through the support of:

Rosa Parks Museum
Blue Cross Blue Shiled of Alabama
Signs Now
Landers McLarty Chevolet
Medical Property Trust
Precision Graphics
SEI Group