An Ivy Center Foundation "CFC Success Story"

ICF Single Parent Awardee - Kristina Burns

The Ivy Center of Huntsville/Madison County Foundation, Incorporated was organized and incorporated in 2005 by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated ®, Epsilon gamma Omega Chapter. It is a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation that allows the chapter to expand its programs and be of greater service to people in Huntsville and surrounding areas. It works collaboratively with the chapter to improve the quality of lives through charitable contributions to non-profit organizations and programs or activities in the areas of education, health, science, technology, culture, the arts and economics.

In 2007, Foundation members launched The White Linen Brunch, their signature fundraiser, which not only finances their initiatives, but also serves as a forum to showcase their programs. Proceeds from the Brunch benefit such philanthropic programs as the chapter’s Debutante Scholarships, the Foundation’s community grants and the Evangeline Herndon Spillman Single Parent Scholarships. The Foundation receives additional funding from the Combined Federal Campaign and the United Way to support those community causes.

Among the many recent recipients of the community grants are the following: AAMU Hope for Tomorrow Fund, Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama, James A. Layne Boys & Girls Club, CASA of Madison County, Crisis Services of North Alabama, Greater Huntsville Chapter Links, Incorporated, Harvest Youth Club, Huntsville Community Drumline, Sickle Cell Foundation, Riah Rose Home, Incorporated and the Tennessee Jazz Society to name a few.

The Evangeline Herndon Spillman Single Parent Scholarship Program comprises a compendium of success stories. The story of Kristina Burns is an extraordinary one. Ms. Burns enrolled at Alabama A&M University to study biology. She is a native of Alabama and the mother of two young children. She received one of the Foundation’s first single-parent scholarships. With continuous excellent scholastic performance, she is still a Single Parent Scholar five years later.

During a White Linen Brunch, Ms. Burns told her heart-rending story. She experienced a battle with cancer. Her journey included juggling large class loads, long lab hours, and extensive research while rearing her two children. It also included homelessness, a time when she and her children slept in the car and shared a single meal each day. With the Foundation Scholarships, she earned a master’s degree in Biology, despite overwhelming difficulties. In May of 2021, she anticipates becoming the first person in her family to receive a doctorate degree.

Ms. Burns’ story is one of hard work, determination and perseverance. After telling it, she added, “I am highly grateful to Dr. Jeanette Jones and the members of the Ivy Center Foundation who invested in me and helped me stay on a path to a Ph. D. degree in a male-dominated discipline.”

After completing her doctorate degree, Ms. Burns wants to teach mycology, wildlife conservation and molecular pathology. She also wants to teach future generations her lessons learned from her own struggles. “Science can be fun! Life can be difficult but stay focused; and find your light and let it shine.” She is an excellent candidate for more success.

You are encouraged to participate in the 2020 CFC Campaign and Earmark your contribution for the Ivy Center Foundation. Use the CFC code # 84340 to make your tax-deductible contribution that will support community efforts like this awesome story! In partnership with the Ivy Center Foundation, you can change lives through a wide range of service organizations or a Single Parent scholarship recipient like Kristina Burns.

Charity Name
Ivy Center of Huntsville/Madison County Foundation, Inc.
Photo Caption
Ivy Center Foundation Single Parent Scholarship Recipient - Kristina Burns and Children
Photo Credit
Christa Winston - Photographer