FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — People magazine will tell the rest of the country what Fort Wayne already knows: Sammie Vance is slowly changing the world through the Buddy Bench program.
She’s been named to People’s “Girls Changing the World 2021” list which is already online and hits newsstands Friday.
“I am really honored to be considered a world changer,” Vance told WANE 15. “I hope it will show others what being kind can accomplish and to remind people that you don’t just have to be an adult to make a difference. You can be a kid, too.”
Vance is one of two 12-year-olds among the eight selections. The rest are in their teens.
Four years ago Vance discovered a surefire way to find your purpose: Ask yourself what breaks your heart.People magazine “Girls Changing the World 2021” list
Vance has written a book, been profiled on national TV, been named a grand marshal of the Three Rivers Festival Parade and received other accolades since popularizing the Buddy Bench program. The benches are installed at schools, playgrounds and other public spaces.
Vance explained to WANE 15 that people can sit on the bench “and another person can come up to them and ask them to play and they could play together.”
Many Buddy Benches are made from recycled plastic bottle caps.
You can learn more about Sammy’s Buddy Bench project here.