Greenville High School
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.