Dedicated to making a difference, Ali Spizman is a national volunteer teen ambassador for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. Since she was young, Spizman’s goal has been to spread kindness and make a difference while encouraging others to do the same. She has performed workshops for the Girl Scouts and is the award-winning author of The Thank You Book for Kids. Spizman has been featured by Time Magazine for Kids, Southern Living, CNN, Good Day Atlanta, Newsday Charlotte Observer, Boston Herald, Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Woman’s Day, American Girl, Cosmo Girl, Elle Girl, Atlanta Parent and other major media outlets. Her book was recommended by USA Today and mentioned on NBC’s Today. She is also the designer of the Handbag of Hope™, an innovative new line of cause-related handbags and accompanying accessories. The bags were sold worldwide in Claire’s boutiques and The Icing by Claire’s and generated more than $500,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Her handbag line was launched in spring of 2005 along with her second book titled The Power of a Wish in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. A transfer student originally from Atlanta, Spizman came to UGA last spring semester from Indiana University. She is a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority, and she loves to draw. After graduation, she plans to move to Atlanta or New York. She wants to work as a consumer journalist and one day start her own business or become an entertainment reporter.
North Springs High School
B.S.F.C.S. in consumer journalism
University highlights, achievements and awards:
I transferred to UGA last year from Indiana University. I affiliated and am active in my sorority, Delta Delta Delta. I was recently awarded the Atlanta Falcons Youth Quarterback Leadership Award for my involvement and contribution to the Make A Wish Foundation and previously served as their National Youth Volunteer Ambassador. I am a member of the Student Association for the College of Family and Consumer Sciences and very involved in my pursuing my major.
Family Ties to UGA:
My great uncle, Jerry Blonder, who sadly passed away last year, was very involved with the College of Family and Consumer Sciences and attended UGA.
I chose to attend UGA because...
...I realized that I wanted to be closer to home (Atlanta) and UGA had so much to offer. Transferring from Indiana University was the greatest decision I have ever made. Plus, you seriously cannot beat the HOPE scholarship. I transferred to UGA because of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. Consumer Journalism is the perfect major for me and encompasses all of my interests which vary from writing to fashion to consumer topics.
My favorite things to do on campus are...
..attend sporting events and walk around the campus and downtown Athens.
Everyone is so friendly and makes you feel at home. This past fall was my first UGA football season and it was unreal. Like everybody else, I am counting down until September. I also love watching the basketball team play.
When I have free time, I like...
...to draw, work out and hang out with friends. Within the past 4 years, drawing has become a huge hobby of mine. I design these elaborate tattoo-looking drawings. Many people have told me that my drawings are really interesting and not something they would expect from me. I also love to play volleyball, basketball, tennis and soccer.
The craziest thing I've done is...
When I was 9 years old, I took a trip to New York with my mom, and we were at an event called Hollywood For Children, benefiting a children’s cause and hosted by Audrey Hepburn’s son. There were many celebrities there of all ages. I didn’t know who Mickey Rooney was at the time, but while the paparazzi were taking photographs of him surrounded by all of the kid celebrities, I was standing nearby and walked straight into the picture and stood right next to Mickey Rooney. He knew I wasn’t an actress, but gave me a huge hug, made sure I was in the photograph and I ended up being featured in all these teen magazines.
My favorite place to study is...
...Starbucks. If I study in my room, I most likely will fall asleep. Starbucks has a great atmosphere. I think that it really helps me to focus when other things are going on around me.
My favorite professor is...
...Connie Rash in UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences. She is one of the most amazing faculty members I have ever met. I would not be able to navigate this school without her. She has been an amazing mentor and inspiring teacher. Connie has such a welcoming personality and is such an asset to UGA.
I also think Debbie Phillips is an incredible teacher.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...
...Elie Weizel. There are no words to describe the magnitude of impact he has on everyone who crosses his path. Just to be able to sit in his presence would be an honor. It would be amazing to listen to him speak about his book, Night, as well as his experiences and life during the war.
If I knew I could not fail, I would...
...sing like Aretha Franklin. I think it would be such an amazing way to express yourself, and Aretha Franklin is beyond amazing. I love listening to music and especially reading lyrics, because you can always relate them to your personal life. I have a few songs that I listen to repeatedly that are my inspiration.
After graduation, I plan to...
...move back to Atlanta or live in New York for a few years. I want to find an ideal career match where I can really put my talents and skills to work, but also learn a great deal and grow both personally and professionally. I love a challenge and am not scared to work hard. One day I would love to start my own business, but for now I know that experience is the best teacher. I also have the dream of being a reporter for Entertainment Tonight or a national morning show and would like to be on-air in either television or radio. I also want to continue my fundraising work as I enjoy helping child-related causes and overseeing or participating in large events.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be...
...just being a student at this school. I like being able to walk on campus and having no worries except whether you will make it to your next class on time. I always hear graduates tell me that they wish they could spend one more semester in college or be a student for life. I want to take advantage of my last year here because I love UGA.