IT’S BACK TO SCHOOL WITH KIDS’ CHANCE
Kids’ Chance Scholarship Fund helps students whose parent or parents have been killed or permanently disabled in an on-the-job injury to attend college or technical school. When a parent is killed or disabled in an on-the-job accident, a family’s standard of living is lowered and, therefore, parents cannot help their children with the costs of higher education. Realizing that these students need help, the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Alabama State Bar founded Kids’ Chance in 1992.
Kids’ Chance is administered by the Alabama Law Foundation, a charitable tax-exempt organization. Kids’ Chance has been enthusiastically supported by all those involved in workers’ compensation: attorneys, businesses, rehabilitation professionals, medical providers, insurance agents, and organized labor. Sixty-seven students have graduated so far with help from Kids’ Chance. The awards for this school year totaled $27,000 bringing to $650,000 the successful program has awarded to more than 175 students since 1993.
Kori and Kristen Johnson from Birmingham were each awarded $2000. Their grandmother and guardian suffered wrist injuries and carpel tunnel syndrome as a result of her job. Kori attends Alabama A&M and studies civil engineering; Kristen attends Jefferson State Community College and studies Elementary and Early Childhood Education.
Victoria Jones was awarded $2500 to attend Middle Tennessee State University where she is studying biology; Victoria plans to become a pediatric neurologist. Victoria’s mother was permanently disabled as the result of an injury at work.
Kelcie Knowles of Jamison received $2000 to attend the University of Alabama where she studies political science and criminal justice; Kelcie plans to pursue a law degree. Kelcie’s father, Shannon Beam, was killed in a work related accident.
Miles Lansdell of Muscle Shoals received $2500 to attend the University of Alabama to study environmental engineering. Miles’ father died in a truck driving accident on the job.
Kaylee Moore of Grove Hill received $2500 to attend Auburn University to study occupational therapy. Kaylee’s father was killed in a logging accident when a tree fell on him.
Amber and Arthur Patton of Leeds each received $2000. Their mother was permanently disabled in a car accident on the job as a police officer. Both attend Jacksonville State University. Amber studies social work; Arthur studies aerospace engineering.
Bennett Prestridge of Jasper received $2000 to attend Bellville State Community College to study advanced EMT; Bennett plans to become a licensed EMT and complete a paramedica degree. Bennet’s father suffered a severe head injury when he was involved in a car accident on the job.
Yana Rodgers of Jackson received $2500 to attend the University of West Alabama to study pre-pharmacy. Yana’s father was killed when a mobile home fell on him while he was working.
Kelsey Trussell of Albertville received $2500 to attend Jacksonville State University where she studies music education to teach vocational instruction at the high school level. Kelsey’s mother was disabled in an accident while driving to her job.
Kids’ Chance scholarships support these young people’s academic goals and career dreams.
MORGAN MEANS AWARDED JANIE L. SHORES SCHOLARSHIP
The Alabama Law Foundation proudly announces that Morgan Means has been awarded $5,100 as the 2016 winner of the Justice Janie L. Shores Scholarship. As Christina Crow, chair of the scholarship committee, explains, “The Women’s Section of the Alabama Bar is proud to honor the hard work and dedication of female attorneys past and present through the presentation of the Janie L. Shores Scholarship to Morgan Means.”
The Women’s Section of the Alabama State Bar, along with the Alabama Law Foundation, established the Janie L. Shores Scholarship to support a female Alabama resident attending an Alabama law school in 2006. The Justice Janie L. Shores scholarship is named in honor of the first female Alabama Supreme Court Justice, who was elected in 1974.
Morgan Means was born in Gadsden, Alabama and plans to return to her hometown after graduation to “make a difference in my community.” She graduated from Jacksonville State College in 2016 with a BA in Political Science. Her academic awards include President’s and Dean’s list; she was the recipient of the Judge H. Dean Buttram Scholarship 2015-2016. Morgan is married to Jordan Means; Morgan says she could not continue to pursue her goals without his support. The ambitious young couple has two boys: Milo 3 and Linus 2. Morgan has worked as a legal assistant since 2004; she currently works for Jared D. Vaughn, Attorney at Law. Morgan plans to remain employed as she begins law school at the University of Alabama in the fall. Clearly, she is the epitome of young women lawyers who are hard-working and dedicated.
Morgan is planning to specialize in family law which she says she is “passionate about.” She just finished work on a case involving adoption. She is also interested in helping children and women in neglected or abusive situations. Morgan says she is honored to be chosen for the scholarship and appreciative to the Women’s Section for their support.
Morgan was recognized at the Maude McLure Kelly Award Luncheon held Friday, June 23, 2016 during the Alabama State Bar Annual Meeting. The luncheon is named in honor of Alabama’s first woman lawyer, who continued blazing pathways by becoming the first woman lawyer in the United States to plead a case before the U.S Supreme Court. A silent auction, held the evening after the luncheon, raised money for the scholarship. Christina Crow states, “Janie Shores paved the way for many young lawyers, male and female, and we are proud to follow her example of hard work and dedication to the profession by raising the funds for this scholarship with our annual silent auction. We also thank our donors who make the silent auction possible.”
HELPING PEOPLE STAY IN THEIR HOME: AVOID FORECLOSURE ALABAMA
The Alabama Law Foundation has launched a project to help low income Alabama homeowner keep their homes when they are not able to make house payments because of financial setbacks such as loss of a job, divorce, a death, or high medical bills. The program, “Avoid Foreclosure Alabama,” is a group of legal aid organizations working together to provide free legal services to people so that they can stay in their homes.
The Alabama Law Foundation and the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation received $7 million in funds from a 2014 settlement between the Bank of America and the U.S. Department of Justice over mortgage practices. The settlement reads as follows: “For the sole purpose of providing funds to legal aid organizations in the state of Alabama for foreclosure prevention legal assistance and/or community redevelopment legal assistance.” In addition, the settlement requires funds to be allotted to IOLTA (Interest On Lawyers Trust Accounts) foundations based on Federal poverty censes data.
Avoid Foreclosure Alabama provides information to homeowner through a brochure and a website. The website, www.avoidforeclosurealabama.org, shows them which organization will work with them to help them stay in their home.
For example, they can help people to resolve debt issues or receive benefits they are due so they can afford their house payment. They may help people negotiate with their lender to modify their mortgage to a payment they can afford.
Sometimes a homeowner’s best option is to declare bankruptcy. They can also help people who are divorced or widowed change the mortgage to their name and take over the payments. If someone does not have enough income to stay in the house, these organizations work with the lender to give the homeowner more time to find a place to live.
To be eligible for assistance from Foreclosure Alabama, people must own the home, the home must be their primary residence and their income must be no more than 250% of the federal poverty level. For a household of one, that is $29, 425 and $60,625 for a family of four.
In March of 2016, the Alabama Law Foundation awarded $266,000 in grants from funds received in a 2015 disbursement by the monitor. The organizations listed below received grants to provide foreclosure prevention legal assistance.
Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution $60,000
Alabama State Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program $35,500
Birmingham Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Program $42,500
Legal Services Alabama $65,000
Madison County Volunteer Lawyers Program $20,000
Montgomery County Volunteer Lawyers Program $25,500
South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program $20,500