David Finestein | Young Hero Award from Alabama Public Television

David Finestein

Alabama School of Fine Arts

Birmingham, Alabama

David Finestein, a senior at the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham, cofounded Youth Media Group in 2015. This organization worked as a casting company for film and theatre productions in the state. In 2014, he was selected from many nominees to participate in the Birmingham Youth Leadership Forum, an intensive leadership program. Accomplishments such as these are even more impressive when one considers that David is a cancer survivor.

In 2014, David was diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer that starts in cells that are part of the body’s immune system. He endured grueling cancer treatments which necessitated missing many day of school – and yet David did everything possible to continue just like the other students. David’s studies are centered in the Math & Science Department at ASFA, and all of his faculty noted how well he was able to continue his demanding studies through the rigors of chemotherapy, hospital admissions, missed time, and feeling sick. Dr. Dominique Linchet wrote, “David was insistent that he did not want to be treated differently than his peers and that he expected to be held accountable the same ways as they were…I was humbled by his resolve as he faced both his disease and his responsibilities with courage and maturity.”

Happily, David is now in remission and well on track to continue his academic performance and live a normal, successful life.

A leader among his classmates, David serves as the treasurer of Mu Alpha Theta Honor Society, one of ASFA’s most active co-curricular student groups. In addition to holding part-time jobs, David participates in the math/science outreach for urban and rural middle schools and volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and the Cahaba River Cleanup.

David is both an independent young man who does not desire to burden others and a creative, adaptable, humorous person who interacts well with both peers and adults. Resilient and self-reliant, David does not falter in the face of hardships; he conquers them. In salute to such spirit, David Finestein is recognized by his school and our state as one of the 2016 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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