Allen thinks critically to assist others

By CONNIE NOLEN / For the Reporter

Representing Hope Christian School as one of The Shelby County Reporter’s 2017 Nine Who Shine Standout Seniors, Benjamin Allen’s unique perspective is colored by life experience and what Allen calls “brain exercise.”

“I do love to read,” Allen says defining brain exercise. “Dad read to us as kids and that sparked my natural curiosity.”

Allen’s reading habit helped him earn an impressive ACT score winning him a unique opportunity at UAB. In the fall, Allen begins the University Honors Program, an opportunity afforded to only fifty students allowing them to work closely with full professors in a seminar setting.

“I am really excited about being part of the University Honors Program at UAB. I think this setting will give me the chance to see how I can really use what I’m learning to make positive change. I’d love to assist businesses as I learn through a small business incubator,” said Allen.

Allen’s specific interest is marketing and stems from his observation that many small businesses need assistance creating an internet presence and advertising that helps potential customers find them.

“I’ve stumbled upon great small businesses and wondered why I haven’t heard of these places,” Allen said. “Thinking critically about a business and helping owners find the best phrasing to share their business’s purpose excites me.”

“Two of Ben’s most admirable traits are his perseverance and determination,” said Connie Atchison, Hope Christian School administrator. “He has numerous volunteer hours. He’s a member of Hope’s Beta Club, Key Club and treasurer of the Christian Honor Society. Ben was nominated as valedictorian.”

At 15, Allen was diagnosed with abdominal cancer. Allen’s mom says that during Ben’s experience, the entire family developed a deep appreciation for the wonderful staff of Children’s Hospital.

Now a cancer survivor, Allen volunteers with Children’s Harbor, an organization working with Children’s Hospital offering recreational and other services for kids fighting serious illness.

“I was on the sick kid’s side of the table and now I can help and kids can see that I got well,” said Ben. “That’s pretty amazing.”