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The University of Alabama

Holt Students Experience ‘Winds of Change’ with Help from UA Students, Faculty

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — “Winds of Change,” a youth-led series of discussions addressing recovery priorities in Holt after the April 27, 2011, tornado, will be held from Wednesday, April 18, to Friday, April 20, at the Holt High School auditorium.

Dr. Jeffrey G. Parker, associate professor of psychology at The University of Alabama, is spearheading the initiative.

Events during the day are intended for invited high school and middle school students. However, an open house will be offered from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 19, in the auditorium at the school. The open house is free, and the public is invited.

The program is designed to add the youth perspective to discussions regarding community recovery. Among the topics that will be addressed are: commercial and economic needs of the Holt community; youth-oriented employment and work training needs; community history and vision for future; recreational alternatives; public transportation and infrastructure; and community representation and governance.

Exhibits are educational and interactive and include “Forces at Work,” involving employment opportunities for youth; “Back to the Future,” surveying the history of Holt through photos; and “Say it Loud, Say it Proud,” which features the voices, videos, art and photographs of Holt youth concerning the tornado and their community.

All exhibits are created by and hosted by Holt High School and Davis Emerson Middle School students, with mentoring by UA undergraduate psychology students under the direction of Parker. More than 500 youth and community participants are expected. Students will receive prizes, donated by more than three dozen local merchants or supporters, for their participation.

For details on the event, contact Parker at or 205/348-2081.

The psychology department is part of UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and memberships on the USA Today Academic All American Team.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.