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People of Alabama: Haley Jewel Heinkel of Sheffield

What’s something you’ve overcome that you never thought you would?

“Would you think I used to be kind of shy? I was kind of a quiet kid, but I did dance and theater, and I did pageants. I did a short run with cheerleading just to get outside of my comfort zone and realized that I’m just as important as everybody else. I think that I just kind of accidentally conditioned my brain to think that I’m in this one-down position, if that makes sense, but my voice matters too. I can walk into a room and make it better, and I can walk into a room and people be excited about it. That just has really translated more and more as I get older.” – Haley Jewel Heinkel of Sheffield

Heinkel hopes to publish a book of poetry one day and loves that the Quad Cities are filled with so much inspiration.

“I got my BA in English lit and then my master’s in creative writing – both at UNA. I love to write poetry. I love that the area is filled with so many artists. That’s kind of what we’re known for. We’ve got designer Billy Reid. I work for Alabama Chanin, Natalie Chanin. We’ve got Jason Isbell, John Paul White. You know that documentary called Muscle Shoals? It gave me chills. It made me so proud to call this area home – such a legacy of creatives. It just makes you feel something deep in the roots and it evokes creativity just being there.”

These are the faces and stories of people from all walks of life who call Alabama home. People of Alabama is a Red Clay Media and Alabama NewsCenter partnership.