Alumni Spotlight – Jarvis Prewitt

The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image but giving them the opportunity to create themselves. – Steven Spielberg

IMG_1803Months after graduating from Huffman High School as the class of 2019’s salutatorian, Jarvis Prewitt raved over the phone not about football games or newfound independence, but about his love for the Birmingham Education Foundation. During Jarvis’s three years in Ed’s programs, he gained career and life readiness skills that inspired him with a clear sense of motivation and excellence. Sophomore year, through the Career Education program, Jarvis and a few other students enrolled into the Academy of Architecture and Construction, Continue reading

Accepting Applications for the 2020 Walter Carr Award!

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 Continue reading



Birmingham Education Foundation’s (Ed) Connect Local Manager, Dee Manyama, never imagined that she would discover her passion for unearthing people’s potential and purpose while working in mortgage banking for BancorpSouth. During her 15 years in the industry, Manyama received insight into the discrepancy between individuals who felt dissatisfied with their careers but needed the Continue reading

Policy and Advocacy Manager – Corinn O’Brien

What after all has maintained the human race on this old globe despite all the calamities of nature and all the tragic failings of mankind, if not faith in new possibilities and courage to advocate them. – Jane Addams

Before becoming Birmingham Education Foundation’s (Ed) Policy and Advocacy Manager, Louisiana native, Corinn O’Brien, spent ten years in public schools and education systems. While pursuing her undergraduate degree at Louisiana State University, O’Brien witnessed Hurricane Katrina’s devastation as the storm made landfall on Louisiana’s coast. As she observed the calamity’s effects on New Orleans, she knew that she wanted to remain in the city and further develop her interest in teaching. In 2008, O’Brien began working for Teach For America as an eighth grade math teacher and saw the unimaginable inequities in New Orleans; she instructed 17-year-old students who performed math on a first- or second- grade level and who would age out of the system before completing their education. As O’Brien struggled to reconcile how a world existed where such inequity occurred, she joined a team of teachers who were turning around a failing charter school in New Orleans.  Continue reading

Work Local Manager – Emily Burt

Education is important no matter what you do. It makes you feel secure, independent, and confident in yourself. . . So, if it starts at the basic level . . . a lot will change. –Kriti Sanon

For schools to engage in constructive conversations about education that empowers and inspires its students, the dialogue must remain student-centered. When Birmingham native, Emily Burt, applied for a Program Specialist position at the Birmingham Education Foundation through AmeriCorps State, she discovered that the role not only aligned with her graduate studies in School Counseling, but also revealed the organization’s dedication to keeping students at the forefront of discussion. As Program Specialist, Burt delivered the College and Career Preparation Curriculum, and enjoyed serving in this capacity so much that she applied for a full-time position. Continue reading

“Diary of Ed” – Ed Family Game Night

I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship. – BrenéBrown

Each packed hitting bay on Top Golf’s first floor emanated an exhilarating energy as seniors from seven Birmingham City high schools networked with local partners. Departing from Game Night’s recent family feud tradition, Development Manager, Brad Jennings, organized the annual fundraiser at Top Golf, creating a relaxed, engaging environment for relationships new and old to grow through community and competition. Students from a wide variety of Birmingham City schools joined together to compete on teams with executives from Regions, UAB, Engel Realty, C-Spire, SlateXP, Birmingham Athletic Partnership, American’s First Federal Credit Union, The Edit with MDL, Oakworth, Jones Walker, Christian & Smalls, and other community leaders.  “Every time someone came down here, you could feel the energy,” exclaimed a Top Golf worker. Continue reading

Program Specialist – Carolyn Williams

Carolyn Williams’ role at the Birmingham Education IMG_1757.jpgFoundation 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

Development & Communications Specialist – Brad Jennings

D72ABBA3-3749-4397-88A8-A0516A974AE8Brad 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

Accepting Applications for the Walter Carr Award!

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

  • Resume’
  • 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

Ed Chat

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