STEPPING FORWARD FOR STUDENTS Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) attracts high-school students from across the community to learn more about the Birmingham region and each other. But it also brings together a group of adult volunteers who dedicate their time and efforts to make each program day a success.
Investment Strategy Weily Soong commits to growing Birmingham’s talent pool Participating in the class of 2015 continues to pay career dividends for Weily Soong, Allervie Health chief medical officer, who ranks it among “the most influential experiences in my adult life.” In return, he has eagerly shared his time and resources, serving as Health Day co-chair in 2016 and 2022 and making a monetary gift to support Leadership Birmingham programming. Soong describes Leadership Birmingham’s impact and the crucial reason all alumni should consider making a contribution: What encouraged you to stay involved? Soong: Leadership Birmingham helped me to further understand that health-care problems—specifically health disparities and inequities—involve many different areas in our community and encouraged me to be creative in developing solutions.
Winning Ways World Games leaders prepared for the global spotlight Company’s coming, Birmingham. This summer the Magic City will host the biggest international sporting event since the Olympics—the World Games 2022—and will welcome thousands of athletes and spectators.
From A.G. Gaston to Willie Nelson Discover the books, shows, and podcasts that are informing and inspiring alumni
Paging Through the Past What were hot topics of discussion 27 years ago? Where did members visit, and whom did they meet? Let’s look back at a few memorable moments from the 1993-1994 directory: October 14: Education Day A session dedicated to education reform featured five school system superintendents; members of the city, county, and state boards of education; the president of the Alabama Education Association; principals; teachers; and a high school student. During dinner, Samuetta Nesbitt (’92), director of communication for the Birmingham Board of Education, presented the Principal of the Year award.
A Pivot and a Preview What does 2020-2021 hold for Leadership Birmingham? Of course, Leadership Birmingham isn’t immune to the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like every other organization, we have redirected our path forward to help protect health and safety.
“I Can Wholeheartedly Say That Day Changed My Life” Elise Turner Stockman illuminates the impact of Youth Leadership Forum on her career and classroom Then: Sophomore, Leeds High School; Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) Class of 2013 Now: Third-grade teacher, Leeds Elementary School “I prepared for my YLF interview for weeks. My school counselor told me how great the program was and that it was selective.
Finding Her Voice Andrea Smith reflects on the gift of perspective Andrea Smith (’12) recalls that her Leadership Birmingham group project was “all about preserving perspectives.” She and fellow members created a presentation in which they narrated stories from Birmingham’s civil rights movement. But many of the voices they featured weren’t the familiar ones from history books.
COVID’s Critical Decisions The unprecedented challenges of a pandemic have led to tough choices for many alumni. Mark Wilson (’13), Jefferson County’s health officer, and Bobbie Knight (’06), Miles College president, walk us through their most consequential decisions.
Wisdom and Laughter Remembering Elise Penfield When Leadership Birmingham’s second executive director passed away in July, alumni recalled her passionate energy, high expectations, and ability to command a room and connect people. They also celebrated her warm smile, kindness and openness, and her quick wit.