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The University of Alabama

UA in the News: October 6-8, 2012

Help for University of Alabama students who are on their own
Tuscaloosa News – Oct. 6
Michaela Sanderson was 11 years old when her mother attempted suicide. She watched as her mother pulled out the gun, and then she begged her to put it away. But her mother pulled the trigger and, for a split second, the young girl’s world seemed to stand still. While the bullet only grazed her mother’s stomach, it was enough for the state to intervene and take the young girl away. Sanderson considers herself more fortunate than most.  “My experiences gave me a greater desire to go to college and succeed,” said the 18-year-old University of Alabama freshman from Gardendale. “I had the drive, the attitude and a different perspective. I find it a blessing.” However, a large number of teens in foster care don’t graduate from high school, let alone attend college, Sanderson said. That is what Alabama Reach hopes to change. The organization formally launched this summer as a support network and resource hub for current and former foster youth, orphans, emancipated minors, wards of the state and homeless youths at UA. The program is funded primarily by UA, but it also relies on grants and donations. Statistics show that once foster youth become old enough to leave the system, only 2 to 3 percent complete a college degree, said Jameka Hartley, program coordinator. “What they’re lacking is support, both financially and emotionally,” she said. “Just having a caring adult in their lives, someone who stays in touch, helps encourage them when they’re down, has such an impact.”

More high schoolers getting early college credits
Tuscaloosa News – Oct. 8
… A larger number of high school students are getting a jump start on their college education through programs like Shelton State Community College’s accelerated high school, the University of Alabama’s Early College or the University of West Alabama’s dual enrollment program. Whether courses are taken online, on campus or even at the student’s high school, students can earn up to a year of college credit before officially beginning their collegiate journey … Some students are able to earn the college credit while also satisfying their high school graduation requirements, which is referred to as dual credit or dual enrollment….In addition to on-campus courses, UA offers high school students an opportunity to earn college credit online through Early College. In its fourth year, the college provides academic advising, peer coaches that check in on students throughout the semester, as well as communication with the high school counselors, said director Cheree Causey.  The credit will transfer as UA bachelor’s level credit, and if students complete five classes and an introduction course with a 2.5 or higher grade point average and apply to UA, they are eligible for automatic admission and priority housing assignment, Causey said. “They’ve demonstrated they can study and make good grades, and they understand the level of commitment it takes,” she said. “Their self-esteem is also dramatically increased. They understand college projects, deadlines, a course syllabus and how to reach out to their professors.”

Lend A Hand: Tide ready to battle Tigers in annual ‘Beat Hunger’ drive
Tuscaloosa News – Oct. 7
The 19th annual Beat Auburn Beat Hunger food drive kicks off Monday in the Ferguson Plaza, Reese Phifer and Lloyd Hall. Hosted by the University of Alabama Community Service Center, the kickoff will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will include music and free food and the opportunity to vote in a pie-throwing contest. UA students, faculty and staff will be able to make donations in the pie-throwing contestants’ jars. The contestant with the most donations will return to Ferguson Plaza at noon Wednesday and have a pie thrown in his or her face by the person who made the highest donation at Monday’s event. An additional fundraiser will take place at TCBY from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday as part of the event. All the money raised will go to the West Alabama Food Bank. Contestants competing for donations include Shane Sharpe, UA Honors College dean; UA football player Cody Mandell; Alabama celebrity Jack “The Face” Blankenship. Beat Auburn Beat Hunger is an annual food drive that began in 1994 and has since helped collect almost 3 million pounds of food.
ABC 33/40 (Birmingham) – Oct. 7

University of Alabama women’s rowing team sponsors Locks of Love event
Tuscaloosa News – Oct. 7
When her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, Tracey Wright of Hartselle made a pact with her: When she beat cancer, they would shave their heads together.  But her mother never made it. She died of cancer in June 2010.  In honor of her mother, Wright chopped off more than 17 inches of hair Sunday as part of a Locks of Love event sponsored by the University of Alabama women’s rowing team. The hair donated will be used for wigs for children with health problems, including cancer. “This is more for my mom than anything,” Wright said as she sat in front of a crowd of college girls, getting her hair cut. Wright first heard about the event from her daughter, who is on the rowing team at UA. Wright drove about two hours from Hartselle to Tuscaloosa specifically to donate her hair. As her hair was cut, her daughter watched on and they both cried. As the last ponytail was cut, everyone cheered. More than a dozen women got their hair cut Sunday as part of the event, including friends, mothers and sisters of women on the rowing team. Stylists from Tera Lane Salon donated the stylists’ time to carefully cut the donated hair and style what hair was left for the women.

Locks of Love event set for Coleman Coliseum
Tuscaloosa News – Oct. 5
The University of Alabama rowing team and the UA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee will hold a Locks of Love event from 3-5 p.m. Sunday at Coleman Coliseum. Locks of Love is a nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children suffering from long-term medical hair loss. “This is such a great cause,” senior rower Tabitha Coleman said. “We’re very excited about having everyone come by on Sunday and be a part of this. Just by something as simple as cutting your hair and donating to Locks of Love, you can make such a difference for a child in need.” Professional stylists will provide free dry cuts to all those who wish to donate their hair to Locks of Love. Those interested can visit for hair donation requirements.
WTVM-NBC (Columbus, Ga.) – Oct. 7


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.