Birmingham Education Foundation, its volunteers reach 4,000 city school students

Special to the Times

J.W. Carpenter does a mock interview with a high school student during the Birmingham Ed Foundation's fourth annual Career Development Conference in March. (Ariel Worthy/The Birmingham Times)
J.W. Carpenter does a mock interview with a high school student during the Birmingham Ed Foundation’s fourth annual Career Development Conference in March. (Ariel Worthy/The Birmingham Times)

More than 550 volunteers, representing more than 137 local businesses and organizations, helped the Birmingham Education Foundation facilitate over 1,100 hours of programming and reach nearly 4,000 Birmingham City Students during the 2016-2017 school year.

The Birmingham Ed Foundation is dedicated to increasing the number of students in the Birmingham City Schools that are on the path to college, career, and life readiness.

Some of the highlights during the school year for the Ed Foundation:

  • As part of Ed’s Network Priority Councils, partners in and around Oliver Elementary successfully launched Parent University, facilitating five sessions for Oliver families over the spring semester.
  • The Ed Foundation launched its first ever elementary school pilot on social-emotional learning, developed in partnership with AlaQuest Collaborative for Learning. First through fifth graders at Hudson Elementary spent the spring semester learning about feelings and strategies for conflict resolution; practicing mindfulness and developing prototypes for backpacks and wallets.
  • Student Changemakers at Carver High School launched a mentoring program for rising freshmen and at Hudson Elementary created a documentary about the physical conditions of the Collegeville community with Fish Camp Films. A partnership with YouthServe, the Changemakers program walks students through the process of identifying a challenge in their community and coming up with a way to address it, cultivating grassroots leadership and introducing students to the concept of civic engagement.
  • Two recent BCS alumni – Berucha Cintron and Paula Odogwu – who wrote and recorded commentaries that aired last May on WBHM as part of the Career Development Conference on Public Speaking are finalists for the upcoming Alabama Associated Press Awards. Winners will be announced in late June.
  • The Executive Internship was launched for the first time with 32 students completing up to 120-hours at local partners.
  • Sophomores participating in the Career Development Conference on Social Entrepreneurship impressed volunteers with their ideas. One such volunteer, Bettina Byrd-Giles of the Bethesda Life Center in Ensley, is now working with two students from Parker High School to bring awareness to violence as a public health issue with support of the Southeaster Health Equity Council.
  • Sixty freshmen at Carver and Huffman high schools created their own web-based Student-Directed Learning Plans and blogs using WordPress templates. These students will continue to add experiences and goals to their SDLPs over the next three years to track their progress and create a portfolio of college and career prep experiences.
  • As part of College 101, more than 500 9th graders attended major-based tours at UAB and 851 signed up for, a micro-scholarship program that gives students the opportunity to raise money for college by doing community service, taking AP classes, and attending college tours at UAB.
  • 12 students will be featured in a collection of personal essays entitled, “Why We Do What We Do,” created by Ed Foundation staff with help from volunteers from Birmingham-Southern College. The book will be available later this month.
  • Three students were awarded a total of $5,000 in scholarships as part of Ed’s Annual Game Night Fundraiser.


Partners and sponsors throughout the year included University of Alabama at Birmingham, Samford University, Daxko, Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, CTS, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Redemptive Cycles, Alabama Power, Regions Bank, Southern Museum of Flight, Compass Bank, UAB Hospital, Vulcan Materials Company, BBVA Compass, Knight Eady, Protective Life, Adamson West, Rotaract, Birmingham Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Southeaster Health Equity Council, Jones Valley Teaching Farm, and WorkFaith Birmingham.