(Birmingham, AL) FOCUS is pleased to announce Adam Oliver, Chelsea High School, as the winner of the 2022 Difference Maker Award which recognizes the most outstanding educator facilitating FOCUS in Alabama! The Difference Maker Award was created to honor those whose passion, enthusiasm, and leadership have resulted in real successes in the prevention of adolescent risk behaviors in their school and community. As the winner of this award, Mr. Oliver received $1,000 cash and a trophy.
An individual nominating Mr. Oliver stated, “Mr. Oliver puts a lot of energy and hard work into our Peer Helper Program. He often does so, without much recognition. He cares so much about the students in our program and throughout the school. We would love to be able to show him just how much we appreciate his dedication and caring heart.”
Mr. Oliver has been teaching since 2016. This is his sixth year at Chelsea High School, where he mainly teaches seniors in economics, government, AP Macroeconomics, and AP US Government. His first few years at Chelsea he was an assistant to their Peer Helpers Sponsor who led them in being a FOCUS School and doing numerous FOCUS activities for the school. He became the sponsor for the Peer Helpers and they continued to participate with FOCUS through attending the FOCUS Rally, having FOCUS leadership speak to their group and hosting them for events like their Mental Health Awareness Week.
They have 29 passionate student leaders who participate in FOCUS, organized under their Peer Helper Program. They are made up of juniors and seniors who are committed to making a difference in their school through their example and through activities that try to shape a healthier student experience for everyone at Chelsea High School. During the past year, students led an Impact Day Student Conference for about 200 of their students, where they led both large and small groups in activities and discussions related to combating bullying, prejudice, social isolation, and other challenges for students. The students also planned a Mental Health Awareness Week where each day different topics were emphasized to help remove the stigma and encourage everyone to have a place to seek help if needed. That week concluded with a Mental Health Fair, where representatives from more than 10 different organizations set up booths and talked to hundreds of the students about topics ranging from struggling with eating disorders, dealing with alcohol and substance abuse, dealing with depression/anxiety and self-harm, and a host of other issues among high schoolers. They have also done several other activities throughout the year. The students are active in Big Brothers Big Sisters, community service projects, Freshmen Mentoring groups, and numerous encouragement and informational promotions around the school’s campus.
Mr. Oliver obtained his multiple degrees from Samford University. His undergraduate degree is in history and his graduate degree is in Divinity and Education. He lives in Birmingham and has been married for 12 years to his wife, Amy. They have 2 amazing cats. Some of his hobbies include being a big sports fan, reading, traveling and playing golf.
We are honored to recognize Adam Oliver for his outstanding leadership! Congratulations and thank you to Mr. Oliver for his work in reducing the incidence of adolescent risk behaviors and truly Making a Difference in the lives of students!