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: Julie Howard

Work: CBS 42

Charity: Easterseals of the Birmingham Area

Motivation: I have passion for helping others & event planning so when a friend invited me to join the junior board, I was beyond excited! ESBA had great events raising funds and awareness for a special mission. Five years later and a board member, it is also the amazing leadership! Executive Director, Michael Woolley, Corporate Development Director, Katelyn George & Board Chair, Jennifer Shaw, are inspirational! It’s an honor to be a part of ESBA helping change lives of children & adults with disabilities.

What I Gained from 2020: There is no doubt that everyone has faced difficulties of all levels. As much as I wish I could, I cannot stop or skip over the 2020 challenges. All I can do is keep moving forward with positivity and humor while trying to make others’ difficulties just a little less challenging with as many acts of kindness and charity as often as I can for as long as I can.

Check out all of our 2020 Trailblazers here!