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Community volunteer leaves lasting impact

Ever present with a winning smile and can-do attitude, Judy Patterson of the Archer Cluster of schools located in Lawrenceville was one of those super moms able to look beyond her own children to the welfare of all children in the community. Whether raising funds for Cooper Elementary, serving on the PTA board, participating on the Archer Schools Council, or stepping in weekly if not daily to assist teachers and students in the classroom, the word no simply was not in Judy’s vocabulary.

Autumn Williams 2017 winner of the Judy Patterson Legacy Scholarship presented by Stacy Patterson (R).

In 2014 Judy lost her battle with cancer but not before leaving behind a legacy of selflessness and community spirit that continues to this day through the Judy Patterson Legacy Scholarship. Students winning this award must demonstrate a passion for community involvement at an exemplary level through service projects demonstrating a significant impact on the community of Gwinnett.

“Judy loved this community and loved Gwinnett County Public Schools. She volunteered in any capacity, great or small while expecting nothing in return. The success and happiness of children were her reward. This year’s $1,000 scholarship recipient, Autumn Williams of Archer High School, mirrors the Judy Patterson spirit,” expressed Judy’s husband J. Stacy Patterson, co-president of the Archer Cluster Foundation.

Honored at the Archer High School Awards Night on April 24th, 2017, Autumn Williams impressive resume’ included 300 hours teaching children in Duluth; tutoring in Snellville; manning the Cheer Cart at Emory Hospital; serving meals at Hagar’s House; assisting the Atlanta Community Food Bank, and more. In short, Autumn, soon to be a Vanderbilt Commodore, could be found doing whatever was needed, great or small, to assist those around her, while expecting nothing in return – the Judy Patterson model. 

Those wishing to extend the reach of the Judy Patterson Legacy Scholarship or support projects benefitting the five schools and more than 7400 students of the Archer Cluster can donate to the Archer Academic Foundation at – select tab, Archer Cluster Fund.