Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe has named Shemuel Sanders as the recipient of the 2022 Citizen of the Year Award, as part of the Decatur Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Chamber Awards. On June 6, 2020, Sanders’ daughter Shemilah was tragically shot and killed. Since then, Sanders created the Shemilah Outreach Center. Through this program, Sanders taught young men life skills, from mowing lawns to learning agriculture. He also created an after-school program to give students a space to do their homework. To this day, he’s continuing to work with youth across the Decatur community, helping them envision a bright future.
In her speech, Mayor Wolfe thanked Sanders for “[taking] the most tragic, horrific event in his life and [turning] it into a miracle.” She applauded him for “[moving] mountains to make Decatur better, to make our children better, and to make a future possible for children in this community.”