Today’s Friday Feature is Kristina Scott. Kristina is the Executive Director for Alabama Possible, an amazing organization working to end poverty in Alabama. Kristina is also preparing for the Hungry for Justice: Student Advocacy Summit on March 2. Click here to register for the summit!
This is her story:
I am the executive director of Alabama Possible, which breaks down barriers to prosperity in Alabama. Nearly 900,000 Alabamians, including 300,000 children live below the poverty line. As the executive director, I work with our supporters and partners to address issues like food insecurity and college access and success through collaboration, education, and advocacy.
I joined Alabama Possible, then known as Alabama Poverty Project, about 10 years ago. When I spent a lot of time traveling around Alabama talking to partners about how we could achieve our mission at scale. One idea stood out: our partners at two- and four-year college were concerned about the state of college access and success for low-income, first-generation, and minority college-going students.
As a result of these conversations, Alabama Possible connected with Nicole Bohannon Hampton, who was then a first-year student at The University of Alabama Honors College. At Nicole’s low-income, rural Alabama high school, she and her peers did not have access to the counseling and financial aid support and guidance that students in more prosperous communities had. As a first-year college student, Nicole realized that she and her classmates were not the only ones who faced these challenges, and she partnered with AP to create the Blueprints College Success Initiative. Blueprints served as the foundation for all our college access and success work, which primarily focuses on resources to pay for college, like filing out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
I joined ECHA when Harriet Giles and the Dean June Henton, of the College of Human Sciences at Auburn University, asked me to. Being part of this organization has allowed me to see ECHA facilitate collaborations and conversations between public agencies and community-based organizations through the state. One great example of its success is the summer feeding programs. Most Alabama public school students eat breakfast and lunch at school, and when school isn’t in session, they may not have access to regular meals. Break for a Plate has done a tremendous job giving kids access to healthy breakfasts and lunches during the summer.