Local scholarship winner tells of inspiration

Published 4:24 pm Monday, August 5, 2013


PELHAM — Abbey Beal, a 2013 graduate of Pelham High School, was the recent recipient of the Pelham Library Guild’s Smart Investing at Your Library Grant, worth $2,500.

Beal was chosen from a pool of four finalists who all interviewed with the library guild, said Barbara Roberts, Pelham Library director.

“It was a hard choice,” Roberts said. “We saw a young lady who is very poised and who is very committed to trying to help others and who had worked very hard to achieve academic excellence.”

Roberts said that during Beal’s interview, Beal mentioned a man who went through a lot of hardship to lead an ordinary life. That man was Scott Coleman.

Coleman became a quadriplegic after being in a waterskiing accident at age 17, Beal said.

His story and strength inspired her to pursue nursing at UAB, where she will begin school in the fall.

“It was just really moving to see how far he’s gone and all the things he’s had to get over,” Beal said.

Coleman wrote a book, “Best When Broken,” that tells his story of recovery and how he became successful in his career and a husband to a loving wife.

On Aug. 2 Beal presented the library with a signed copy of Coleman’s book, which is now safely sitting on the shelves and available for checkout.

Beal said she and Coleman keep in touch and continue to be close friends, inspiring each other.

“We talk almost every day,” she said. “He’s my confidence booster; he’s the person I talk to anything about.”

For more information on Coleman’s book, visit his website at Bestwhenbroken.com.