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Alabama Public Television Young Heroes of 2011

Faith Bynum

Dora, Alabama
Corner High School

Faith Bynum – artist, award-winning actress, singer, writer, volunteer, church leader, school leader. As her teacher Fran Gurganus, wrote, “This young lady has wrapped the high school around her little finger.” Faith maintains a 4.083 grade point average and is ranked third out of a class of 111. She’s also quadriplegic –which means her limbs are paralyzed from injury.

Faith was in an automobile accident during the summer between her second and third grade years. The accident left her paralyzed by a spinal cord injury. She spent six months in Birmingham Children’s Hospital before rejoining her class in time for the second semester of third grade.

Ms. Gurganus wrote, “I learned to be thankful for the little things when I observed Faith’s distress at not being able to participate in art like the other kids…I learned how to adapt as I watched Faith learn to draw with her mouth.”

Faith’s world was rocked by the accident. She had to learn to do many things in new ways. During these early days, Faith’s nursing aide expressed admiration for the young lady as she regained her footing and independence. She quickly moved from waiting for assistance to leading the charge down the hall, requesting needed assistance from whomever she met.

Faith has emerged as an actress and thespian. She has earned major roles in three productions of Corner High School Theatre, and participated in the production of four others. She is frequently at rehearsals until 6:00 in the evening before heading home to her grandmother. “Theatre takes many hours of preparation and participation outside of regular school hours,” wrote her drama coach Mike Putnam. “She is always well prepared and ready for direction.” This hard work has paid off. In 2010, Faith placed first in the category of “Dramatic Solo” in the Alabama state theatre competition.

Faith is a member of the Thespian Society, the Math Team and the Spanish Club. In her volunteer hours, she sits with residents of Cordova Nursing Home. Corner High School counselor Cindy Tingle (who nominated Faith for this honor) wrote, “This young lady has every excuse for staying home and requesting home services; however, she chooses the more difficult task of getting to school daily, taking the same courses her peers take, and being involved in extracurricular activities. She inspires both students and teachers not to take anything for granted in this life.”

The circumstances of life hit Faith Bynum – literally. She refused to be held back, though. She has persevered in a path that has led all the way to center stage – and the show has just begun. Brava, Ms. Bynum! The inspiration of your triumph certainly affords you a place as one of the Young Heroes of Alabama for 2011.

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