APT Announces 2017 Young Heroes
Alabama Public Television Education

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Posted Apr 6, 2017

APT Announces 2017 Young Heroes

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Five Students Recognized for Overcoming Adversity to Excel in Academics and Civic Service

Alabama Public Television has announced the winners of its 2017 APT Young Heroes scholarships.  Meredith Annan of Robertsdale, Noah Fondren of Cullman, Kya Evangeline Qvale of Harvest, Ricky C.H. Reynolds of Huntsville and Katelyn Olivia Richard of Hoover will each receive a $5,000 scholarship to the school of their choice, a tablet computer and other prizes as well.

Nominees for APT’s Young Heroes Award must be full-time students in a 9th through 12th grade curriculum, and must have demonstrated academic excellence, active participation in their community and the courage to persevere in the face of adversity.

The five recipients will be honored at an awards dinner on Wednesday, April 12 at 6:30pm at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center in Montgomery.  Legislators from each of the students’ congressional districts have been invited to attend.


  • Meredith Annan is a senior at Robertsdale High School.  Meredith has had rheumatoid arthritis, a painful disease of the joints, since she was 11. When her mother, who suffers from the same problem, was struck with the autoimmune disorder polymyositis, Meredith had to assist her with daily tasks such as bathing and feeding, and to help her brother with household chores, shopping and cleaning.  Despite these obstacles, Meredith maintains a high GPA and remains active in community service and school clubs.
  • Noah Fondren is a senior at Cullman High School. At the age of 12, worried about his weight and wanting to improve at baseball, Noah developed anorexia and experienced a shocking decline in health. After treatment at Children’s Hospital, Noah has battled back – and excelled again in baseball, winning the title of MVP in state finals during his sophomore year. Noah recently signed a letter of intent to play baseball at the University of Alabama. 
  • Kya Evangeline Qvale attends Sparkman High School in Harvest.  Kya was born with arms that were not fully developed, but she’s never let that condition limit her activities.  Kya is active in her high school drama department, its literary magazine, and its simulated workforce, Spark Industry Robotics. She also volunteers at the community food line/pantry House of Harvest.  She also takes care of two younger brothers – cooking meals and helping with homework – while her parents work long hours.  
  • Ricky C.H. Reynolds is a senior at Lee High School in Huntsville.  Labeled a “crack baby” at birth, Ricky was taken away from his birth mother and never knew his father. His adoptive mother was disabled, and beginning at age 10, he had to care for her  –  do shopping, cooking and cleaning, even making medical appointments for her – all by himself, until she passed away in October 2015.  Despite these great challenges, Ricky is now thriving at Lee High School where he is blazing through classes and is active in many activities including drama. 
  • Katelyn Oliva Richard is a senior at Hoover High School.  Katelyn, her younger brother and their single mother have moved a lot, so she’s used to changing schools, making new friends and adjusting to new places. She’s worked as an instructor at several gyms to help her family and is active in many community activities including Relay for Life, Grace House Ministries and the Birmingham Read program. She belongs to the Diversity Club, Future Business Leaders of America, and school groups, and has twice received the Finley Award, Hoover High School’s most prestigious student honor.

In addition to a scholarship, each Young Hero will receive a trophy and a tablet computer with software suitable for a college student. One of the five winners will be selected to receive an additional award — the Marissa Feigelson Award for community service — that offers an additional $1,000 scholarship. That announcement will be made as part of the ceremony on April 12.

The APT Young Heroes and their families will stay in Montgomery for a day of special events on Thursday, April 13th. They will visit the Alabama Statehouse on Thursday morning to meet Alabama House and Senate members and to see the legislators in action.  In the afternoon, they will visit the Alabama Department of Archives and History for a guided tour.

Learn more about APT's 2017 Young Heroes 

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2017 APT Young Heroes

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2017 Young Hero Kya Evangeline Qvale

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2017 Young Hero Ricky C.H. Reynolds

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2017 Young Hero Katelyn Olivia Richard

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2017 Young Hero Meredith Annan

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2017 Young Hero Noah Fondren

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