We celebrated another successful year by honoring community and business supporters at our annual “VIP Breakfast.”
Mayor Rusty Paul acknowledged Sandy Springs Education Force for our work to bring community members and businesses into the city’s public schools and Fulton County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Jeff Rose, shared insights about the school system’s goal to ensure all students graduate well prepared to pursue their academic or work goals. Rose acknowledged that community partnerships are one key to school success and praised SSEF’s important work and mission of inspiring at-risk students to stay in school, graduate and pursue productive futures.
Over 145 guests enjoyed breakfast prepared by students chefs at the Culinary Arts Program at Riverwood International Charter School, under the direction of Chef Elissa Oliver.
Presentations highlighted two of SSEF’s high school mentorship programs: SAIL and CHOSEN. These programs bring students who are on target to graduate, but do not have any post-secondary plans, together with trained volunteers and representatives from various schools, to help them identify post-secondary school options. Karlie Jo Price and Denzel Nim-Dixon from North Springs and Cameron Cooper from Riverwood expressed how meaningful these experiences were in shaping their future plans. Jim Acree, a volunteer for the SAIL program, encouraged all in attendance to take time to volunteer to make a difference for students.
SSEF also presented three special awards in honor of community partnerships:
Northside Hospital received the “Sustaining Scholar Award,” recognizing six years of sponsorship enabling SSEF to provide STEAM after school programs in all Sandy Springs public schools.
Susan Muly received the “Carolyn Axt Volunteer of the Year Award” recognizing her tremendous job in chairing the very successful STEAM Showcase in March.
Stephen Walker, of SR Walker Designs, earned the “Business Supporter of the Year Award” recognizing his outstanding graphic design service to SSEF for both the Road Race and STEAM Showcase.
At the end of the meaningful program, Executive Director, Irene Schweiger, noted, “We so appreciate our sponsors, volunteers, donors and partners who make it possible for SSEF to provide targeted and impactful programs for our students in our Sandy Springs public schools. Our collective efforts are making a difference in the lives of students every day as you have witnessed with our student comments at the breakfast. Thanks so much to all of you for your generous support of SSEF.”
Picture 1, Left to right: Ava Booker (North Springs counselor), Irene Schweiger (SSEF Executive Director), Susan Muly (Carolyn Axt Volunteer of the Year Award), Stephen Walker (Business Supporter of the Year Award), Imann Fahmy (Representing Northside Hospital, Sustaining Scholar Award), Denzel Nim-Dixon and Karlie Jo Price from North Springs, Cameron Cooper from Riverwood, Jim Acree (SAIL program volunteer) and Kathy Shapiro, SSEF board chair.
Picture 2: Chef Elissa Oliver (front) and students chefs from the Culinary Arts Program at Riverwood International Charter School, which she directs.