FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Sammie Vance has a lot on her plate at 12 years old.
The Fort Wayne activist is known worldwide for her Buddy Bench project, and rather than sitting on her success, she continues to inspire the community– a decision that hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Sammie was just named one of the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Power of Children’s Winners for this year.
The Blackhawk middle schooler says that, with the grant awarded to her, she is going to get her new book into the hands of those who cannot afford it.
Sammie is also one of America’s top 10 youth volunteers of the year. Actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas recognized her and nine other kids across the nation in May’s virtual Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.
Adding author to her resume, Sammie has a book being published on August 24 titled “Inspire the World: A Kid’s Journey to Making a Difference.”
The book is published by Clear Fork Publishing. Her motto: “You don’t just have to be an adult to make a difference, you can be a kid too!”
Sammie has teamed up with Talitha Shipman, a local Fort Wayne illustrator. Many of the featured photos in the book include parts of Fort Wayne.
Books are available for preorder now, and Sammie is doing two book signings. The first is at Biggby in Georgetown September 4 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The second signing is at the September 12 TinCaps game, their last home game of the season.
The book description summarizes her accomplishments in life so far: “What started as 8-year-old Sammie Vance’s mission to get a buddy bench for her school to fight loneliness grew to be so much more. Now Sammie is making a difference beyond her hometown. In her first-ever book, Sammie shares how she’s encouraging others through recycling, community, giving, determination, bravery, helping, being herself, and celebrating. She wants to inspire the world one kid at a time.”