Thursday, May 8, 2014
Katie’s Krops began with a 9-year-old girl who somehow managed to grow a cabbage until it weighed 40 pounds, and then proceeded to take it to a local homeless shelter and feed over 275 people. That little girl would go on to start vegetable gardens and donate her bounty to help feed people in need.
Now, Katie Stagliano is 15 years old and her nonprofit organization has helped kids across the country create and maintain more than 60 vegetable gardens.
Stagliano has been recognized on numerous occasions on a school, regional and state level. Now she has been recognized on a national level.
In April, Stagliano was recognized by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards as one of South Carolina’s top two youth volunteers of 2014.
On May 3, Stagliano traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in national recognition events, along with 101 other state honorees from across the nation.
On May 5, out of all the participating state honorees, Stagliano was named one of the top 10 high school youth volunteers of 2014.
Stagliano’s award included $5,000 toward her organization. She said she was “still processing” what had just happened.
“It’s incredible,” she added. “It’s just mind-boggling.”
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, represent the United States’ largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service.
All middle and high schools in the country, along with all Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of HandsOn Network, were eligible to select a student or member for a local Prudential Spirit of Community Award last November.
Stagliano said prior to the awards ceremony she spent her time in the nation’s capital touring the area and getting to know the other state honorees. She said she met kids who worked to fight a variety of world issues including sex trafficking, bullying, hunger, abuse and more.
“I just thought it would be a great experience to just get to meet some awesome kids,” she said. “They’ve made such a big impact.”
Now, Stagliano is looking forward to a special summer camp this June which will have 14 Katie’s Krops growers commence to learn new gardening techniques and collaborate on ways to better help people.
Stagliano said she had no idea she would be picked as one of the top 10 honorees.
“It’s been one crazy, amazing experience,” she said.