Alabama Public Television Young Heroes of 2010

Christopher Gray

Birmingham, Alabama
Ramsay High School

Christopher Gray, a senior at Ramsay High School, is a born organizer, leader and entrepreneur. There’s no other way to put it. Let us consider his accomplishments to date:

Christopher has founded two nonprofit organizations: Genesis and the Volunteer Initiative Program (VIP). Genesis is a program that gives teens the opportunity to enrich the lives of their peers through volunteer service to the community. It was conceived as a counterbalance to the influence of drugs, violence and gangs. VIP is primarily a fundraising program that raises money to help people in unfortunate circumstances. It also provides volunteer opportunities for citizens to positively impact each others’ lives.

Christopher has served as the president of the UAB Entrepreneurship Program, the Untouchable Nation, and the Peer Helper’s Club. He has put in more than 500 hours of community service by volunteering regularly with such nonprofits as the American Cancer Society, the Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity, the Salvation Army, the Jimmie Hale Mission, the Community Entrepreneur Institute, and the Jefferson County Health Department, including coordinating volunteer events for many of them.

Christopher is the Chief Executive Officer of a teen-run business: Tweens and Teens Entertainment. His company plans and produces recreational events in safe environments for youth in urban communities.

And on top of all these accomplishments, Christopher has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. “Christopher has an amazing record of service, leadership and academics—not just for someone so young, but by any estimation,” wrote his nominator and mentor Jacquelaine Denise Vest, “He is humble, earnest, persistent and inspiring…I believe that Christopher Gray would be the perfect hero.”

Christopher has been through difficult trials, though. He comes from a single-family home, with two siblings and an estranged father. The family has faced severe financial difficulty. Due to the recession, his mother lost her job. Things got so bad that the family had to go through a period of homelessness. In the struggle, Christopher maintains a part-time job to help pay the bills. With his scholarship and drive, Christopher’s family is supporting him in his plan to be their first college graduate. He is currently planning to pursue a career in business (naturally.)

Recently, Ms. Vest updated APT with the news that Christopher is the first person in the United States to be awarded all of the following five scholarships: the Horatio Alger National Scholarship, the Coca-Cola Scholarship, the Gates Millennium Scholarship, the AXA Achievement Scholarship, and the Trustee Award.

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The Young Heroes Program is made possible through the support of:

Rosa Parks Museum
Blue Cross Blue Shiled of Alabama
Signs Now
Landers McLarty Chevolet
Medical Property Trust
Precision Graphics

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