Wei Min Patrick
Baker High School
Today, Wei Min Patrick is the president of his class, an outstanding scholar, and an admired and talented pianist/keyboardist in his school band. These accomplishments are impressive in their own right. They are magnified, however, when one considers that eleven years earlier, Wei Min was an abandoned, blind child living on the streets.
Wei Min was born blind. His father passed away when he was only 7-years-old, and his elderly grandfather abandoned Wei Min in the streets of his native China. Three hard years passed before Wei Min was by Tommy and Pam Patrick, an American couple. He traveled with them to his new home and three new siblings.
Wei Min adjusted well to his new home, learning the English language and how to read braille. At the age of 14, Wei Min was faced with the fear of losing another parent when his adoptive mother faced a battle with cancer, including chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Even during this period of family crisis, Wei Min studied hard and kept his grades up.
Today, Wei Min is not only acclimated to life in the United States, he has emerged as a political and artistic leader at Baker High. He ran for class officer his junior and senior years and won the election. He currently serves as the president of his senior class.
A talented and accomplished keyboard player, Wei Min has served as section leader in his school’s band. “[He] plays a mean keyboard in our band and serves as an excellent role model for his peers in the band,” wrote teacher Mona Lisa Blackburn.”
Band director Sidney Dedeaux said, “[As section leader], he moves and set up all electronic equipment before rehearsals and takes it down afterward. In addition to knowing his own parts in the music, he learns the others students’ parts and helps teach it to them.”
Tonya Parker, the teacher who nominated Wei Min as a Young Hero of Alabama, said of him, “Wei Min has a beautiful, kind personality. He does not seem to meet a stranger as he is friendly to everyone…Every teacher who has ever taught him loves him, and I know he is an asset to my class.” She concluded by saying, “I admire his courage, talent and persistence, and I only hope the world has a chance to know more about this fine young man!”
Donna Greep, Wei Min’s vision-impaired teacher wrote, “Wei Min is a hero and an outstanding example to all young people, with or without disabilities.”
From desperate beginnings to an outstanding student leader admired by his peers and teachers alike, Wei Min embodies the triumph over adversity that earns a student the honor of being a Young Hero of Alabama.