Andrew T. Walker | Young Hero Award from Alabama Public Television
EDUCATION

Andrew T. Walker

Florence High School

Florence, Alabama

Andrew is a senior at Florence High School. He maintains excellent grades. A member of the Technology Student Association, Andrew received a judge’s award and placed second in the state in the Vex Robotics competition in 2013. In 2014, he placed 6th in the state in this same competition. In 2018, he received 12th place in the Best Robotics competition.

Since the age of 7, Andrew has maintained his goal to be an electrical engineer. Toward this goal, he works in the 12 for Life program. 12 for Life is a cooperative education program supported by Southwire Company. It helps students gain extra motivation to finish twelve years of school and to enjoy better lives. 2018 marks Andrew’s second year working with the program. He saves the money from his job in hopes of attending college.

In his community, Andrew has volunteered at the Kiwanis Pancake Day, the local Ups and Downs thrift store, and for his school’s supply drive. In his spare time, he enjoys making new projects, finding out what makes things work, and mastering how to make them himself.

With all these accomplishments under his belt, few know the struggles Andrew faces and overcomes daily. While still quite young, Andrew underwent many surgeries related to the functioning of his kidneys. Andrew also grapples with Tourette Syndrome (TS). TS is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics.  

Because of the condition, Andrew has become an advocate for people suffering from TS. Andrew and his mother are also caretakers for his grandmother. He is active with the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity service organization and attends workshops every other Sunday.

In her nomination of Andrew as a Young Hero of Alabama, Florence high school counselor Caroline Jones wrote, “This young man might have given up long ago, but despite all the pitfalls, he keeps striving to do more and to be more. I can’t think of a more deserving young man for this honor than Andrew T. Walker. He is an inspiration to all who know and meet him.”

Faced with obstacles, some people give up; others dismantle the obstacles, figure them out, and reconfigure them for success. Andrew is obviously of the latter type. For his perseverance and ingenuity in the face of adversity, Andrew is recognized by his school and our state as one of the five 2018 Young Heroes of Alabama.

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APT EDUCATION SPONSORS

For Fiscal Years 2016-2020. These educational programs and services of Alabama Public Television made possible by the generous support of the following contributors:

Community Events & Engagement
  • Books-A-Million, Young Heroes
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama, Be My Neighbor Day/Young Heroes
  • Brookmont Capital Management, Young Heroes
  • C. W. Daniel Charitable Trust, Young Heroes
  • Medical Properties Trust, Young Heroes
  • Fred Rogers Productions/PNC, Be My Neighbor Day
  • WNET-CPB, Sesame Street in Communities
General Support
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)
  • Public Broadcasting Services (PBS)
Learning Adventures
  • Alabama Bicentennial Commission
  • Alabama Humanities Foundation
    a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Alabama State Council on the Arts
    a state program of the National Endowment for the Arts
  • American Graduate
    a program of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • Daniel Foundation of Alabama
  • Malone Family Foundation
  • Robert Meyer Foundation
  • Sybil Smith Foundation
  • Troy Univiersity
  • U.S. Space & Rocket Center
  • Wells Fargo Foundation
Media Library
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting, American Graduate
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting, American Graduate, Getting To Work
PBS Kids Programs
  • Alabama Department of Human Resources
  • Alabama Power Company
  • Books-A-Million
  • Children’s of Alabama
  • HEAL Alabama
  • Medical Properties Trust
  • U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Professional Development for Educators
  • Community Foundation of South Alabama, PBS KIDS EdCamp
  • Sybil Smith Foundation, PBS KIDS EdCamp
Workforce Development
  • CAWACO, Career Forward
  • Southeast Alabama Works, Career Forward