Christopher Gray | Young Hero Award from Alabama Public Television

Christopher Gray

Ramsay High School

Birmingham, Alabama

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.

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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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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