Our Stories

Stephanie Woodard

What is your passion?

My passion is helping people in difficult circumstances.  Hurt people often hurt people.  The court system cannot undo injuries or return people to the an uninjured state.  But to see and acknowledge someone’s pain, to try and understand their need, to really address their reality instead of adding insult to injury – that is how we help people move closer to health and wholeness.

Why do you love this community?

How giving Hall County is.  We do not wait for someone else to address a need.  We do not expect government to fix what is hurting our neighbors.  Where ever there is a need, our community steps forwards to help. We are 501(c)3 and volunteer energy rich!

Why go the extra mile for it?

Building a home takes work.  Keeping that home in good repair, clean, comfortable and happy takes work.  We made Hall County our home – and this is simply the work that is needed to keep that home healthy.

How in the world do you juggle family and pandemic and still find that fire to serve? 

I have to say that “devices” help.  While I see a tremendous amount of difficulty with the time and attention devices take up in our lives – the ease of quick information sharing certainly helps.  I have to actually focus on intentional disconnect or I find myself working way to many hours.  But sending information and even funny pictures throughout the day allows a pretty constant feeling of connection to the ones we love and the work I enjoy.

Where does the fire come from?

Very candidly, the fire to help and give back comes from the help I received.  My adolescent years were not pain free.  Teachers and coaches and church youth leaders poured into me.  The support and blessings kept me focused on a future I could design.  They helped me have a vision beyond what I had experienced.  My life today is a composite total of the community that poured into me.  I want to be part of the spiritual web that gives that connection to others.

Who inspires you and why?

I am inspired by many, many women from our history and who will be our futures.  On of my current inspirations is a hometown woman who is serving on the bench in DeKalb County.  A beautiful soul, Kiesha Storey grew up in the Gainesville School district.  After graduating Emory Law School, she served her hometown in the Northeastern Judicial System as an Assistant District Attorney.  Moving her family and her practice to DeKalb County, Kiesha serves her new hometown as a judge in DeKalb County State Court. Encountering significant health issues, Kiesha has exemplified strength and tenacity as she worked to bring work and health and happiness back into balance, returning to the post COVID “new normal” on the bench, with community involvement, and school life with her girl! She is the very essence of a Hall County empowered woman – true Wonder Woman.

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