FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The founder of Sammie’s Buddy Bench Project is making her mark locally and nationwide.

13-year-old community activist Sammie Vance has a full calendar for 2022, with events to continue her mission of spreading kindness.

WANE 15’s Breann Boswell caught up with Sammie to talk about her latest activities.

Sammie earned the Brilliant Firefly award.

She’s already been to the Indiana Statehouse, where Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch presented her with the Brilliant Firefly award for Hoosiers making an impact in the community.

Sammie is also a finalist for Kid of the Year by TIME and Nickelodeon. Sammie earned her top 20 spot, chosen from 5,000 nominees, and will be featured on Wednesday’s Nickelodeon special.

The nostalgic PBS program Reading Rainbow is kicking off the premiere of its live reboot by featuring Sammie on the first episode. Be the first to know updates as soon as Monday by registering on the program’s website.

Sammie Vance with her book, "Inspire the World: A Kid's Journey to Making a Difference", set to be published August 24.
Sammie Vance with her book, “Inspire the World: A Kid’s Journey to Making a Difference.”

Even with all the praise and recognition, Sammie still makes it a priority to expand her Buddy Bench project. The latest bench is planned to be at the Towne House Retirement Center.

Keep up with her latest adventures on the ‘Sammie Smiles Podcast’, and get inspired to make a difference with her book that debuted in 2021.