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Lemonds makes lemonade by giving back, helping others in Alabama

Tabetha Lemonds started volunteering while a student at Childersburg High School and through her local church. She witnessed at an early age the impact giving back could make in the lives of others.

“Giving back was just a part of what we did. It’s something that sticks with you, and something you have a heart for and grow up doing,” Lemonds said.

Lemonds is a senior research associate at the National Carbon Capture Center in Wilsonville. Center employees work on advancing the development of innovative carbon capture technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas and coal-based power plants.

Lemonds supports several different groups within Southern Company Services, including operations, maintenance and engineering, but always finds a way to help her community.

Her latest volunteer program, a youth leadership conference, helps high school students with skills they’ll need when applying for jobs and colleges. The program provides tips for interviewing and assists students with resume writing. More than 100 juniors and seniors attended the first workshop in Wilsonville.

“You always need a resume, and you always need it to be top-of-the-line. So, it was nice for us to have professional people to help them with those skills,” Lemonds said.

Lemonds saw the need for this program when her daughter began applying to colleges. Lemonds earned a business administration degree at Faulkner University and worked in business, healthcare and the court system before joining Southern Company.

“(Resume writing) was something that she had to work toward … I helped her with that, but she didn’t have anyone outside of the family who helped her, so that had been on my mind,” Lemonds said.

At the sessions, students get a flash drive to save their professionally reviewed resumes and, so far, the students’ feedback has been positive.

“We’ve been told students use that to apply for college scholarships and jobs, so it’s nice for us to know we were able to help,” Lemonds said.

Lemonds has various plaques, medals and awards in recognition of her commitment to volunteering, and her office is a mosaic of colorful family pictures – of memories reminding her what’s important. As for serving the community, her advice is simple.

“As long as you have the ability to give back to somebody, do it,” Lemonds said.

The National Carbon Capture Center is managed and operated by Southern Company and is part of a U.S. Department of Energy initiative. Center employees have completed more than 100,000 test hours since its founding in 2009 and have worked to reduce the projected cost of carbon capture by one-third.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

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