Anna Thomas | Young Hero Award from Alabama Public Television

Anna Thomas

Greenville High School

Greenville, Alabama

Like many, Anna was raised in a single-parent home after she and her mother were forced to move to Ohio to escape an abusive situation caused by substance abuse. Like many families, it was a struggle to make ends meet.

In 2011, Anna’s grandfather passed away, and she and her mother returned to Alabama to care for her grandmother. Anna’s mother underwent knee replacement surgery that resulted in her being unable to work. This left Anna to take on the responsibility of caring for her grandmother and her mother.

The transfer left Anna behind in credits when she arrived at Greenville High School, but she was determined to catch up and graduate with her class. Renee Goss, the teacher who nominated Anna as a Young Hero, wrote, “Anna’s personal character and strong work ethics are evident in everything she does…Once you meet her, you will see why I am so enthusiastic about her, both as a student and a young citizen.”

Anna cleans house for an elderly lady, attends school during the day and has taken night classes four days a week to catch up on the credits needed to graduate. Media specialist Nancy Hartley said of her, “Anna has brilliant charisma and an imposing personality. Full of enthusiasm, she has always been ready to put for the extra effort necessary to make excellent grades.”

Anna is a member of the JROTC and maintains active participation in her school without allowing her academic work to suffer. Teacher Marie McNeal wrote, “Though Anna is only in high school, I can already see the kind of woman she will become, and I know I will be proud to say that I had just a tiny part in shaping that person.”

In addition to JROTC, Anna is a member of Mu Alpha Theta (the national mathematics club), Tri-M Honor Society (National Association for Music Education.) She has been honored with the John H. Lehman Award and the President’s Award for Educational Excellence. Within her school, she received the Personal Appearance Award, the Color Guard Team Award, and the Academic Achievement Award, among other honors. She is also a member of the Tiger Rep Club at Greenville High School.

Putting in the effort to catch up and excel when the circumstances of life cause you to fall behind – for this and many other reasons, Anna Thomas is recognized by her school and our state as one of the 2015 Young Heroes of Alabama.

Young Hero Sponsors

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

Derek Chen

Harris Trust


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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

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