Alabaster Teen Council graduates receive scholarships

Published 9:36 am Wednesday, June 28, 2023

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

ALABASTER – The city of Alabaster and Central State Bank presented scholarship awards to graduates of the Alabaster Teen Council during a regularly scheduled meeting on June 26.

Alabaster Mayor Scott Brakefield and a representative from Central State Bank presented several THS graduates and previous members of the Alabaster Teen Council with $1,000 scholarship awards.

“Many years ago, Mayor Handlon started our teen council program,” Brakefield said. “Shortly after it was initiated, the responsibilities were handed off to Karen Fillingim (who) has done a wonderful job of growing this program and really making it a service-led program that teaches our young leaders the responsibilities of running our community, serving our community and helping others.”

For the past several years, Central State Bank has partnered with the city to award scholarships to deserving seniors that are member of the teen council and this year’s recipients included Karrington Channell, Phillip Martin and Jasmine Jones.

“The Alabaster Teen Council is designed to give our appointed youth leaders skills that not only bring value to our team but will have a lasting impact wherever they go,” Fillingim said. “They learn to lead by the example of serving. True leadership is not about a title you hold but how you serve others. It’s a joy for me to watch them learn how to put aside themselves to elevate the team.”

Jones was a member of the Alabaster Teen Council for four years and shared her thoughts on how the program has impacted her life.

“Teen council has given me the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself,” Jones said. “When you are a part of the teen council, there is so much that gets poured into you that sets us up for success. What I enjoyed most is everyone having a voice in teen council, and most importantly, that it matters. You are always valued, accepted and heard. When I joined the teen council as a freshman my voice was heard, something I felt like never happened to me before, but at teen council it did. This program allowed me to find my passion for service, philanthropy, engagement and the community.”

Channell shared how the lessons she’s learned from serving on the teen council for four years taught her how to be an effective leader.

“The Alabaster Teen Council has taught me how to communicate,” she said. “Being an effective leader means listening to everyone and making sure all members feel heard. I’ve also learned that no idea is a bad idea and all ideas should be considered. I plan on taking these lessons with me and applying them wherever I go.”

Martin served on the Alabaster Teen Council for two years and said he gained immeasurable knowledge from his experience.

“I obtained understanding that working as a team produces more success than trying to do everything by myself,” he said. “Having a team with a common goal makes everything achievable. I became proficient in communication. I became comfortable asking the team to and for help, and expressing grievances to help make our events better.”

Central State Bank Representative Brandy Hamilton said she considered it an honor to be present at the council meeting and to acknowledge these students’ achievements.

“Karrington Channell, Phillip Martin and Jasmine Jones have shown the council, community and Central State Bank the integrity, teamwork, excellence and genuineness it takes to be a servant leader,” she said. “They young adults have a passion for exceeding expectations and being authentic in all that they do.”