Teenager builds bus shelter for Birmingham neighborhood

Bus shelter 18 year old Ava Davis built in Woodlawn neighborhood.

If you've been driving along Georgia Road in the Woodlawn community, you may have noticed a new wooden structure near the bus stop. A local teenager is behind the project. She built the bus shelter because she believes people in her neighborhood should not have to wait in the rain or heat in order to catch the bus. Thanks to her initiative and hard work, they can now wait more comfortably for transit.

"I always see people waiting for the bus, and they don't have a place to sit," says 18 year old Ava Davis. This summer she applied for a $1,000 grant through Birmingham's Awesome Foundation. She used the money to build a bus shelter. Ava began the whole process herself.

"I applied for the grant myself. Well, my troop leader helped me."

Ava, a long time girl scout, also had to design the structure herself. She researched online for ideas.

"I didn't tell my parents until I needed help with the design. My mom is an architect, so I was like...'Can you make sure this is okay?'" Ava laughs.

She was awarded the grant in June, and spent her summer doing the necessary legwork before the structure could be built. She got permission from the Jefferson County Transit Authority and the neighborhood association. She also worked with the city of Birmingham for building permits. But, then came the fun.

"I had to learn how to use a drill!"

It took one day for Ava, with the help of her parents and friends, to build the bus shelter. It has a concrete foundation, a bench, and siding. The roof goes on Saturday.

"We wanted to keep it open so the sun and wind can come through."

Ava says the experience took her out of her comfort zone, but says it was worth the challenge. She now has this message for other young girls who want to make a difference.

"Be confident, and know you can do it. Because people might say...'No, this is too hard,'" Ava says. "But, I was like...'No, I want to do this.'" Ava, a senior at Indian Springs High School who also plays soccer, says it's necessary to keep trying.

She hopes to see more of these bus shelters at other locations in the city.

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