People have lots of opinions about Alabama these days (even more so than usual, which is saying something).
It seems like the strongest opinions come from people who don’t live here and don’t know about the strength and generosity of Alabamians. These people would rather dwell on the negative rather than engage in the hard work of building a state where each person can reach their full potential.
Yet, it is not the critics who count, as President Theodore Roosevelt said.
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena. . . who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds.”
Your striving to do the deeds makes a difference for students like Shaquandra, who will be the first person in her family to graduate from college. She earned a full-tuition scholarship, but it doesn’t cover books, meals, or housing. The bill for her first semester arrived in late July, and she had no idea how to pay it. Shaquandra and her grandmother came to our Summer Drop-In Center, and we worked with them to fill out her FAFSA to qualify for a Pell Grant and other financial aid.
The work isn’t easy, and error and shortcoming are inherent in it. Some days it would be a lot easier to give up rather than keep showing up. But show up we do, because in doing the work, lives are changed, a little bit at a time.
Today, I am giving thanks to you – our Alabama Possible family – for staying in the arena and fighting to break down barriers to prosperity.