NAACP, AEA Honor Alumna Cubie Rae Hayes
By Hazel Scott/ASU
ASU alumna and former radio personality Cubie Rae Hayes is well-known in the community for pitching in and bringing resources to make a difference in people’s lives.
Because of her community service, Hayes has been named the Alabama Education Support Professional of the Year by the Alabama Education Association, receiving the 2023 Doris Strode Champion Award. Hayes also was the only person from Montgomery to receive the 2023 Humanitarian Award at the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP’s Bridge Crossing Gala.
“It’s a blessing to know that you are appreciated while you can still smell the flowers,” a humbled Hayes said.
On March 18, Hayes will be honored by the Montgomery Chapter of the Alabama State University National Alumni Association for her Outstanding Parent Liaison work at Sidney Lanier High School and for her nonprofit work as Founder and CEO of Citizens That Care, Inc.
Prior awards include a Certificate of Appreciation from the Lacey-Boyd New Year’s Day Parade Committee, the Legacy Award for Community Service from the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Alpha Upsilon Lambda Chapter Educational Foundation, and being named a Community Hero by the Montgomery Advertiser.
Her community commitment can be seen in her work as the parent liaison at Lanier High School, where she serves as the conduit between the needs of students and their families and those who can help meet those needs.
At Lanier, Hayes established a first-ever MPS food pantry and a clothing closet, which includes hygiene items, school supplies, coats and prom gowns. She created an association at the school geared toward engaging grandparents to volunteer, and is the founder of the first ladies' golf team in the Montgomery Public School System at Lanier High School.
“When the parent liaison job came opened, I said this will allow me to bring the community into the school through partnerships to help our kids,” she said. “Every school needs partnerships to survive.”
Through Hayes’s nonprofit charity, Citizens that Care, she helps improve lives by supporting the projects and efforts of other nonprofits by drawing on her vast network of individuals and organizations.
Her nonprofit partnered with the Alabama Department of Public Health to provide hygiene bags with masks, gloves and sanitizers to the community during the pandemic, as well as food boxes and cleaning supplies to those Lanier High School families whose faculty members contracted COVID. Hayes’s charity also partnered with several community associations, including the Police and Fire Departments, to help provide toys to kids at Christmas.
“When MPS Schools’ water fountains were turned off during that same time, my nonprofit partnered with the Mercy House, SAM’s Club and several other businesses/organizations to provide bottled water to Lanier and Bellingrath Schools,” Hayes said.
She noted that her nonprofit also assisted the Mercy House in West Montgomery in their food and mask giveaway and is currently helping Flatwood Community residents who recently lost their homes during a tornado.
And the list goes on.
Hayes’s servant heart started at ASU as a member of the Beta Eta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. “We were committed to community service. I started then and was also doing community work at my church, Revelation Baptist Church at that time. That mindset continues today. My mother instilled in me to always help someone in need and never look down on a person unless you are giving them a hand to help them up.”
The educator considers one of her proudest accomplishments was when she “lobbied for the passage of the Jamari Terrell Williams Anti Bullying and Cyberbullying legislation that has been signed into law (in Alabama) making it a crime for anyone to bully and cyberbully.”
The trailblazer has also had many “firsts” in her career. She was the first black instructor at Massey Draughon Business College in 1973; the first Public Information Specialist for the Montgomery County Commission in 1982; and the only female announcer on the radio in 1979 at WXVI, a position she held for many years (she was later employed by WAPZ Radio in Wetumpka).
When asked what keeps her motivated, she summed it up with one word -- God. “God gives me the opportunity to go on and finish my job.”
Hayes, who just renewed her State Department of Education Teachers Certification, has no plans to slow down anytime soon.
“I’m 69 and the more I do, the younger I feel. I love what I am doing! I don’t plan to sit down; there’s still too much to do.”
Aside from her vast community work, Hayes is the caretaker for her husband and one of her sons.
“I pray He (God) gives me more energy and stamina to do all that I can do for my family and still take care of my passion -- helping people.”