Carolyn Williams’ role at the Birmingham Education Foundation is Program Specialist. Her responsibilities include creating and delivering curriculum to 6-12th-grade students within the city of Birmingham. These in-school sessions focus on college, career, and life readiness. Within her role, one of Carolyn’s favorite tasks is to go into classrooms and provide students with access to resources that can help them reach their maximum potential. Through the help of the team, she is able to match students with local professionals for mentorship, provide resume preparation for future job opportunities, and help students financially prepare for college, as well as any other needs they may have. Continue reading
Brad Jennings joined the Birmingham Education Foundation team during the 2017-2018 academic year as the Development and Communications Specialist. In this role, Brad identifies and researches state and federal grants and local, state, and national opportunities to support Ed’s fundraising activities. He also supports the Development and Communications Director, Whitney Williams, in implementing Ed’s communications strategy through social media and marketing materials. Continue reading
The Walter Carr award was announced in 2018 and named in honor of Walter Carr, who is a graduate of Carver High School. The award will be presented to a graduating senior from a Birmingham City School who demonstrates grit, hard work, and character during their time in high school. In order to apply for the Walter Carr Award, please submit the following to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- 1 page typed essay stating how the applicant represents the qualities of “grit, hard work, and character”
- At least 1 recommendation from a non-related person who can speak about the applicant’s grit, hard work, and character
- Short statement on the applicant’s plans for next year
- Headshot or other photo of the applicant
- Optional – video essay
Finalists will be asked to participate in an in-person interview. Finalists will be notified via email during the week of April 22nd and interviews will take place the week of April 29th. Continue reading
In order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the educational ecosystem in Birmingham, this year, the Birmingham Education Foundation dedicated capacity to the research and analysis of education policy for the first time through the creation of Ed’s Policy Project. Our strategy manager, Corinn O’Brien, and a team of policy fellows, Maureen Moose, Nathan Yoguez, and Aditi Prasad, have been researching and writing policy briefs that focus on 1) the analysis of the current Alabama education policy landscape and 2) the exploration of effective education policy & best practices from around the country and potential for application in Alabama. Continue reading
Cristal Brister, a former Program Specialist, has really owned her role this year as the Program Team Lead with the Birmingham Education Foundation (Ed). As the new Program Team Lead, she will be managing the Social Emotional Learning partnership with the Birmingham City School district, managing curriculum development, facilitating in-school programming, and building relationships with community stakeholders. While she notes how stretching the experience has been, she gladly welcomes the continual growth. Continue reading
Juahmun Sturgeon is a 2018 graduate of Wenonah High School and is currently working on an associates degree in Business Administration from Lawson State Community College. Juahmun became involved with the Birmingham Education Foundation (Ed) as a sophomore in high school. He was first introduced to Ed through Wenonah’s Birmingham Academy coordinators, Angela Smith and Juanita Harris. Throughout his high school career, he participated in Ed’s Network Nights and was a contestant in the 2017 Ed Family Game Night. While participating in Ed Family Game Night, Juahmun had the opportunity to team up with the University of Alabama at Birmingham(UAB). Juahmum along with his UAB team ended up placing third in the competition, allowing him to win scholarship money. Continue reading
Brad is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. While at UAB, Brad served as a member and Liaison of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and Public Relations Council of Alabama (PRCA). Brad has participated in the MLB’s Diversity Economic Impact Engagement Diversity Business Summit as well as Plank Center Challenge for Emerging Leaders. He has a passion for growing while also helping others grow. Brad became interested in education after visiting schools around Birmingham and realizing that so many students have a desire to succeed, but don’t have the support or resources they need.
Program Manager SAIL
Suzy joined Ed in January 2016 after over 24 years in education program management at the Birmingham Museum of Art. She was responsible for developing programming for teachers and schools as well as public programming and outreach to community groups and other cultural institutions. She received her undergraduate degree in art history from the University of the South and her Master’s degree in art history from Vanderbilt University. She believes strongly in community service and currently serves on the Advocacy Task force of the Alabama Alliance for Arts Education, the CTE Advisory Committee for the Carver High School Animation Program and as Treasurer for the Alabama Art Education Association. She was a founding board member of Heart Gallery of Alabama and has served on the boards of the Jefferson County Children’s Policy Cooperative, the Nia Institute and the Junior Board of Gateway. In addition, she served as Board President for VSA arts Alabama, a statewide nonprofit group that serves people with chronic illnesses and disabilities through the arts. She is an alumnus of Leadership Birmingham.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Corinn comes to Ed with ten years of experience working in public schools. She began her career in education teaching 8th-grade math in New Orleans as a 2008 Teach For America corps member.
In 2010, Corinn became a founding team member and math teacher at Phillis Wheatley Community School. For the next five years, Corinn continued to teach and share her passion for middle school math. She also served as the 7th Grade Level Leader, co-founder of the JDCS Outdoor Education program, and the girl’s soccer coach. Most recently, Corinn worked for two years as Assistant Principal of Upper Middle School of Nashville Prep, where she coached a team of twelve teachers on instruction, systems, and family engagement.
Corinn earned her B.A. in Economics from Louisiana State University and an M.Ed. in Learning, Diversity, and Urban Studies from Vanderbilt University. As a newly minted resident, she is looking forward to getting to know Birmingham and the state of Alabama.
In 2007, Meryem and her family moved to Birmingham from the Middle East. After a short adjustment period, Birmingham quickly became home and she found herself staying in the city for an Undergrad. Meryem graduated from Birmingham-Southern College Cum Laude in 2017 with a B.A in Theatre Educational Psychology; a major she created which focused on theatre therapy for children and adults with special needs.
This past year Meryem served as an AmeriCorps VISTA on the Ed Program Team. Taking on her new role as Community Engagement Manager, Meryem feels extremely grateful and humbled by the opportunity to continue to learn and grow from the inspiring students, teachers, parents and community members in Birmingham City. In her new role, she extremely excited to continue to build on established relationships, grow the Ed Network, strengthen our understanding and deepen our roots. After all, “service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth” -Muhammad Ali.