Ricky C.H. Reynolds | Young Hero Award from Alabama Public Television

Ricky C.H. Reynolds

Lee High School

Huntsville, Alabama

Ricky Reynolds is a senior at Lee High School. In her nomination of him as a Young Hero, school counselor Stephanie Coglin said of him, “From his birth label as a ‘crack baby’ to being ‘parentless’ without a mother and never knowing his father; then gaining an adoptive mother only to lose her during his junior year of high school, Mr. Reynolds has demonstrated Young Hero status since the age of 10.”

Ricky was born into this world at a disadvantage. Labeled a “crack baby,” he was taken from his birth mother. Not knowing the identity of his father, social workers put him into the system. Ricky was adopted. His adoptive mother was disabled, and they spent their lives with little money for food and home supplies. The struggles and hardships led Ricky to develop low self-esteem, including feelings of defeat, discouragement and oppression.

As the condition of Ricky’s mother worsened, he decided to stay with Pastor David Lee and his family while his mother was in the hospital. Sadly, on October 23, 2015, she passed away as he ended his junior year of high school. After she died, Ricky made the decision to stay with Pastor Lee. He knew the adjustment would be difficult, but he saw light at the end of this dark tunnel. Ricky reported having to deal with and overcome issues of bullying and racism at his Kentucky school. Aware of his plight, Pastor Lee and his family welcomed Ricky into their home with open arms.

Rather than sulk or rebel, Ricky immersed himself in Lee High School’s culture, easily making friends, attending activities and blazing through classes. He is a member of the school’s Theatre Performance Magnet – and has already played the roles of Seaweed in Hairspray and Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors. In 2013, he was recognized by his classmates for “Best Theatrical Performance.”

“Ricky is also a pleasure for teachers, staff and peers to work with,” Ms. Goglin wrote. “He is passionate, polite, easy-going, and motivated—and people just enjoy being in his presence. Even with his easy-going attitude and charming personality, Mr. Reynolds is a dedicated and ambitious student; he pursues excellence in all aspects of life. He is also humble and willing to take directions, and for these reasons, he is quickly becoming a class favorite.”

From a humble birth to an acclaimed student and young actor, Ricky has displayed tenacity and courage in face of extraordinary hardships and obstacles. For his commitment to survival and excellence, Ricky is recognized by his school and our state as one of the 2017 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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