This year marked the 10-year commemoration of the 2011 tornado that devastated portions of Tuscaloosa and claimed the lives of many, including nine residents of the Rosedale Apartments community, a multifamily public housing development on the southwestern end of the city.

To honor those victims, the Alabama Power Foundation provided $2,500 for a scholarship to support a student resident of the Tuscaloosa Housing Authority. This year’s recipient is Takayla Burton, a Rosedale resident and graduate of Paul Bryant High School. She will attend the University of Alabama in the fall and plans to major in business administration.

The Tuscaloosa Housing Authority selected Burton based on her academic achievements. Alabama Power Western Division Vice President Mark Crews, joined by representatives from the Tuscaloosa Housing Authority and Burton’s family, presented her with the scholarship June 21.

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“We are committed to supporting educational advancement, as well as providing opportunities that enhance diversity and equity in our communities,” Crews said.

“We want to ensure that all students in the communities we serve have the resources they need to succeed. I am excited to present Takayla with this scholarship because it is a part of our continued commitment to rebuild and enhance the Rosedale community.”

The 2011 tornado destroyed 124 units in Rosedale Apartments. Alabama Power worked closely with the Tuscaloosa Housing Authority to provide relief to Rosedale residents.

“The Tuscaloosa Housing Authority is proud of our continued partnership with Alabama Power to empower the families we serve,” said housing authority Executive Director Chris Hall. “This scholarship opportunity is just the latest example of their generosity and steadfast commitment. Takayla is very deserving of this opportunity, and we couldn’t be happier for her and her family.”

Burton and her family expressed gratitude for the scholarship and spoke with company representatives about her plans for the future.

“I want to be an entrepreneur. My major is going to be business; I want to have my own,” Burton said. “I like fashion design, so that’s why I want to be an entrepreneur.

“I’m excited about the scholarship,” Burton said. “It helps. … It’s going to help extremely.”

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)