Ridgeview Charter School seventh grade student Katie Stanwick recently was presented the Presidents Service Award and a proclamation by Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos in recognition of more than 100 hours of volunteer community service she performed in the city in less than four months.

Stanwick, who is 13, heads the organization Girls Who Make a Difference and volunteers with 25 of her friends from Davis Academy, Pace Academy and Ridgeview Charter School. She earned the President’s Volunteer Service Award, which was presented to her by the mayor at during the Nov. 16 Sandy Springs City Council meeting, because of her service contributions to Sandy Springs community groups and non-profit organizations.

Stanwick started Girls Who Make A Difference last May to create an opportunity for her girlfriends to participate in her bat mitzvah project. Of the 26 girlfriends, 13 go to Ridgeview, 12 to Davis Academy and one to Pace Academy.

She wrote to 30 non-profit organizations that assist children and families, but only 10 organizations would allow 12 and 13 year old girls to work with their clients. However, 10 organizations were enough to create an organization of active, pre-teen volunteers.

Non-profit organizations that rely on Stanwick and Girls Who Make a Difference include: The Genesis Shelter, Community Action Center of Sandy Springs and Dunwoody, The Ronald McDonald House, Leadership Sandy Springs, H.O.P.E. Atlanta, Sandy Springs Conservancy, and the Sandy Springs Mission.
Girls Who Make A Difference has continued to grow along with the organizations it assists.  Now, the Ridgeview Charter School Beta Club and Riverwood International Charter High School Beta Club also volunteer to assist the organization with their charitable events.

Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos honors Katie Stanwick for her volunteer work.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.