When Naomi Thomas was a senior at Wenonah High School, she knew she wanted to attend college, but the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms were complicated. She needed help filling them out, she says, and Alabama Possible was there to provide it.
A representative from the organization’s Cash for College program, which encourages Alabama high schools to rally around FAFSA completion as a tool to help students get to college, came and spoke to her class. Thomas took the information from that presentation and used it to fill out her forms.
“Alabama Possible changed my life. Because of them, I am now going to school to become a science teacher.”
Three years later, Thomas is a UAB junior majoring in biology and minoring in STEM education and forensic science and an AmeriCorps VISTA with Alabama Possible, who helps students with FAFSA applications. She credits the organization with helping her acquire aid for college and helping discover her interest in science and teaching, and she hopes she can inspire young students to seek resources to make attending college a reality.
Through employee contributions, the UAB Benevolent Fund help sustain and maintain support for more than 130 local nonprofits, such as Alabama Possible, which strives to remove barriers to prosperity in Alabama through education, collaboration and advocacy.
“Alabama Possible changed my life — they actually helped me realize what my true passion in life is and what I should be doing in my career,” Thomas said. “Because of them, I am now going to school to become a science teacher. Working with students almost every day made me realize how much I truly love it.”
“They are literally investing in the future. Our future.”
Supporting the Benevolent Fund is more than just donating to an organization, Thomas says — in the case of Alabama Possible, it’s about strengthening communities and providing opportunities.
“They are literally investing in the future,” Thomas said. “Our future.”To support the Benevolent Fund, visit uab.edu/benfund and click the Donate Now button. A list of nonprofit designations is online; undesignated gifts support initiatives such as the Blazer Kitchen and Alabama Possible.