Roberson receives APT service award

FROM STAFF REPORTS

John Roberson II, a senior at Oak Mountain High School, has been chosen to receive Alabama Public Television’s Marissa Feigelson Community Service Award, given each year to a student whose service to his or her community serves as a model for citizens throughout the country.

The award is part of the Alabama Public Television Young Heroes Awards, a program started by APT more than 10 years ago to honor high school students who have demonstrated courage, determination, volunteerism, academic excellence and perseverance in the face of adversity.

Roberson will receive a $1,000 scholarship, a laptop computer and a $100 gift certificate to Books-A-Million, courtesy of awards sponsors, at an awards ceremony in honor of the five Young Heroes and Roberson that was held April 23 in Birmingham.

Alabama’s 2008 Young Heroes will also be the focus of APT’s Friday evening program, “Alabama Stories,” scheduled for 7 p.m. April 25, which will feature an interview with Roberson.

Over the past two holiday seasons, Roberson has dedicated himself to helping those less fortunate than himself. He has managed to collect and distribute gifts-including 35 bicycles and more than $6,000 worth of toys, clothes and food-to more than 100 students.

During the summer of 2007, he traveled to Chalmette, La. to help in the rebuilding from the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

Utilizing his mathematical abilities, Roberson created the Web-based program “Everyone Can Pass” (www.freewebs.com/ahsgehelp) that offers help to students who cannot purchase study materials for the Alabama High School Graduate Exam. He also tutors classmates in the areas of mathematics, physics and chemistry.

Even Roberson’s moneymaking efforts are directed toward community service. He began a program in which he goes door to door picking up recyclables in his community for a modest fee.

On April 22, Roberson and his family joined the Young Heroes at Birmingham’s Tutwiler Hotel for two days of activities. The group visited the McWane Science Center and the Birmingham Zoo, and was treated to a breakfast in their honor at Vulcan Park.

On April 23, they were recognized at a special luncheon sponsored by the Rotary Club of Birmingham. Chris T. Sullivan, chief executive officer of Outback Steakhouse, was the keynote speaker