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Retired Educator and Children’s Book Author Vanessa Fortenberry Honored for Longtime Commitment to C

The South Central Georgia Chapter of The Drifters, Incorporated to Endow 2017 Scholarship in Georgia Educator’s Name

DECATUR, Ga. – The South Central Georgia Chapter of The Drifters, Incorporated announced today that a $1,000 scholarship has been endowed in the name of Decatur resident Vanessa Fortenberry, a local retired teacher and school librarian. Fortenberry received the organization’s 2017 Stars of the Universe Award in a ceremony at the Georgia State University Indian Creek Lodge on June 12 for her longtime commitment to educating and inspiring children of all ages.

Fortenberry studied music education at Clark College with a concentration in voice, and performed around the world before beginning her career in education in 1994 in the Dekalb County School system. Initially, she worked as a music teacher and choral director, but later earned a Master’s and specialist degrees in library media, sparked by her desire to help children enhance their reading skills and develop a love of books. In 2009 she earned a reading endorsement and was named Teacher of the Year at Stoneview Elementary School. The following year she was named Mentor of the Year.

In recent years, Fortenberry has pursued her path as a children’s book author. Her book, “Mama, I Want to See Good,” is available at major book retailers, as well as independent bookstores throughout the Atlanta area. More information is available

“Through her musical talents, her tenure as a Georgia educator and now as an author, Vanessa has left an indelible mark on the lives of so many children,” said Frances Murray, South Central Georgia Drifters’ scholarship committee co-chair. “Our organization is honored to have an opportunity to celebrate her contributions in education, and to be able to help further the education of Georgia students through the Vanessa Fortenberry Scholarship Fund.”

The South Central Georgia Drifters is one of 35 chapters of The Drifters, Incorporated (, a national organization first conceived in 1954. With members throughout the U.S., the organization is committed to charitable, civic and educational initiatives in support of youth and seniors in local communities.

In addition to the South Central Georgia Drifters’ scholarship program, chapter engages in extensive community programming including senior outreach initiatives, winter coat and toy drives, community cleanups and other service projects. The organization’s annual “Reading across the Curriculum” event takes place in March and mobilizes local civic and business leaders to read to students in local classrooms. Participants have included Atlanta city council member Kwanza Hall, journalists from CNN, HLN and CBS 46, personnel from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and more.

To connect with the South Central Georgia Drifters and learn more about community service initiatives,


Ty Mays, Media Relations

Perfect Pitch Public Relations

(770) 256-8710

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