I Am Protective



Southern Environmental Center Offers Hands-On Learning

If you follow the echo of giggles, you will find yourself looking at the rather large toilet in the former indoor pool building on the campus of Birmingham Southern College (BSC). It can flush an entire kid, sending him down a winding tunnel into the bottom of the emptied-out swimming pool. This toilet slide generates “gallons of giggles,” but it also illustrates for children wasteful water consumption. The massive commode is part of the Interactive Museum inside the Southern Environmental Center (SEC), and it, along with the other displays of trash heaps and old fashioned bicycles in the museum, is designed to teach people of all ages how they can help protect and improve their local environments. At 5,600-square-feet, it’s the largest education facility of its kind in Alabama. For Roald Hazeloff, the director of SEC, it was important that the center embody the spirit of the “Three Rs” –…

Student service initiative aims to Impact America and teach compassion to young adults

Impact America Founder and President Stephen Black is proud of the work they are doing, but he wants the organization to go beyond addressing community needs. He also wants to empower college students with empathy for those most in need so that they can better understand the impact of their efforts. “I don’t know a better way to change a person’s mind than allowing them to gain personal, intimate insight into the lives of those in need,” Black says. “It’s such a powerful experience.” Black’s vision began in 2004, when he became director of the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility at the University of Alabama, and created Impact Alabama, a student service initiative. In 2014, the program expanded to Tennessee, South Carolina, and Florida, and the organization officially changed its name to Impact America. The nonprofit meets community needs through initiatives such as FocusFirst, SaveFirst, and SpeakFirst. FocusFirst is…