2020 has brought unprecedented challenges across every aspect of life and work worldwide. Incredible people have risen to the challenge—pivoting, reinventing, reimagining and working harder than ever before. Birmingham’s non-profit leaders transformed annual galas into virtual gatherings, transitioned runs into races for runners to complete on their own time, and innovated new ways to raise funds and provide services to those in need throughout the Magic City. We asked our nonprofit partners to nominate the volunteers who helped them get through this year. We are proud to spotlight some of the individuals who played integral roles as Birmingham’s 2020 Trailblazers.

Name: Jennifer Shaw

Work: Oakworth Capital Bank

Charity: Easterseals of the Birmingham Area

Motivation: I love the mission of Easterseals and the fact that its services reach so many in Birmingham & the surrounding communities!  The fact that it serves both children and adults with disabilities and special needs was appealing – the services don’t stop once a child moves into adulthood.   I also love the fact that they are a resource to the entire family.  As someone that has family members and friends with special needs, this is huge for those caregivers!

What I Gained from 2020: It’s been so rewarding to watch the leadership team and staff members of Easterseals use this time as an opportunity to get creative with how services can be delivered. They didn’t run away from this challenge, but towards it!  Not only did this allow our therapists and counselors to provide support to clients during this unusual time, it also opened up doors for new services in the future that will benefit the communities that we serve.

Check out all of our 2020 Trailblazers here!