The roots of Appalachia run deep in the life of Nick Saban. He praises the region’s service-oriented spirit as one that uplifts the richness of its culture.
Saban said there were “a lot of good people where I grew up, including here in Alabama, that do try to serve other people.”
It seems as though Alabama is often forgotten as a part of Appalachia, but not anymore.
Tami Reist of Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourism noted, “After going through the Appalachian Leadership Institute, I realized many people weren’t aware that Appalachia was in their communities, so I put this video together as a gift that we’re giving back to ARC to help people realize how important Appalachia is to our communities.”
Funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) have served to enhance the quality of life in Alabama communities and create value for local economies.
Reist says, “This video can help not only showcase the beauty of our region but also display the way in which Appalachia can give back through grants.”
In the video, Saban reflects on his upbringing in Appalachia,
“All the lessons of life I learned in West Virginia contributed to any success that I’ve had more than anything else,” said Saban. “The work ethic, the perseverance, the ability to overcome adversity. But also, have good relationships with people, have compassion, for other people, help other people when you can — because there are needs in all communities.”
“The biggest need that we try to address is: How do we create opportunities for young people? How do we try to create opportunities that they have a better chance at being successful in their life? You know, everybody’s not blessed with the same opportunities.”
“You know, you’re really trying to help somebody else for their benefit — not for your benefit,” he said. “And I think that helps the culture, I think that helps the community, I think that helps the togetherness. That’s service.”
Reist praises Saban for his presence in the video and for his commitment to Alabama.
“We also want to thank Coach Saban, someone with a servant’s heart, for being part of this video. Having been raised in Appalachian West Virginia, along with sharing his experience in Tuscaloosa, we felt like he would be a great influencer to share the story.”