About Us

Heart Gallery Alabama is a nonprofit organization that connects youth in foster care with caring adults who provide the stability and guidance they need to thrive.

Children featured on the Heart Gallery entered care through no fault of their own and have experienced some form of trauma or loss. While this should not define who they are, unfortunately it often does. They deserve connections with adults who can provide them with unconditional love and commitment to help them grow throughout their lifetime.

HGA advocates for youth living in foster care by listening to their needs and introducing them to adults they can rely on. Through our traveling exhibit and online gallery, we help introduce communities to the youth we serve. For prospective supporters and families, these images can spark a life-changing connection.

The S.O.A.R. mentor program is designed to create lasting connections for Alabama’s youth in foster care who are at risk of entering adulthood without a lifelong relationship with a stable adult. Developing these relationships dramatically improves outcomes for older youth in the foster care system. 

Heart Gallery Alabama’s Heart Squad is made up of a group of dedicated volunteers who want to make a positive impact on our youth. The Heart Squad ensures that children featured on the Heart Gallery feel special on their birthday by providing personalized gifts and hosting individual birthday parties that support a child’s sense of self-worth.

We are never too old to need a family. Our family is our foundation and safety net that is there for us throughout our lifetime, no matter what.

Help them find their forever: Mentor. Foster. Adopt.


Co-Founder and Executive Director – Michelle Bearman-Wolnek, LICSW
Communications & Marketing Manager – Joycelyn D. Haywood
Development & Operations Coordinator – Sharon Jones
Recruitment Response Coordinator – McKenzie Bussman, LMSW
Mentor Match Specialist – Amber Harris
BookKeeper – Amy Haywood

2022 Board of Directors

Board Chair – Melanie Nichols
Immediate Past Board Chair – David Nomberg
Governance Chair – Devyn Gilmer
Development Chair – Nancy Yarbrough
Finance Chair – Cathy Miller

Terri Harvill 

Brannette Marshall 

Joshua Gilmer 

John McElheny 

Marcus Skipwith 

Jonathan Riley 

Melanie Talbot 

Denise Barton 

Sue Hengel 

Daiquiri Steele 


2022 Junior Board 

Elizabeth Armistead
Aliyah Curry
Jane Gardner
Jasmine Knox-Cleveland
Whitney Eiland

If you are interested in learning more about HGA’s Jr. Board, email info@heartgalleryalabama.com or call the office at 205-445-1293.