Clara Parker | Young Hero Award from Alabama Public Television

Clara Parker

Homeschooled under University Church of Christ

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Clara Parker’s story is a symphony of academic excellence, boundless leadership, and unwavering compassion. Clara’s leadership shines through her various roles. She serves as an ambassador for the University of Alabama Early College program, mentors young actors at the Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre Ensemble, co-leads the youth worship team at her church, and even holds the humble position of Chaplain for her National Honor Society. This dedication extends to volunteering, with more than 400 hours spent babysitting and countless more towards theatre camps and costume design. Despite facing rapidly progressing Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease, Clara has not only excelled in academics, landing on the University of Alabama Early College Directors List and participating in the ETA Sigma Alpha National Honor Society, but also built a remarkable commitment to community and leadership.

Underlying all of Clara’s achievements is a deep love for the performing arts. From leading summer camps to mentoring young actors, she fosters a passion for theatre in others, while participating in local theatre productions and choir herself. Even battling chronic pain and fatigue, Clara’s enthusiasm for these activities never wavers. Clara was recently honored to serve as the Costume Designer for one of the Actor’s Charitable Theatre’s mainstage shows. She has also served as a Teaching Assistant for Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre’s afternoon classes.

The true hallmark of Clara’s character lies in her resilience and compassion. Witnessing her father’s struggles with the same disease instilled in her a strength that inspires. Despite the potential for an early need for a kidney transplant, Clara lives life with joy and ambition, planning to attend university. Moreover, she actively reaches out to those feeling isolated, offering friendship and understanding.

Clara is an inspiration. Her story reminds us that challenges can shape character, fostering empathy, strength, and a desire to make a difference. Through her leadership, volunteerism, and passion for the arts, Clara serves as a beacon of hope, demonstrating that even with obstacles, one can live a fulfilling and impactful life. As she moves forward, we can be sure that she will continue to inspire and enrich the communities she encounters, leaving a lasting positive impact on everyone she meets.

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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