CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - It's a bittersweet day for a Summerville teen who has made a difference in countless gardens and soup kitchens around the country.
Katie Stagliano, the 18-year-old founder of Katie's Krops, had her last spring planting as a high school student today.
Now she's preparing for something new.
Stagliano has dedicated her life to helping others.
Inside the fences of the Katie's Krops flagship garden at Pinewood Prep, she teaches kids the importance of having a green thumb.
"Planting time is definitely one of my favorite times," Stagliano."I love hanging out with these kids and they get so excited about gardening."
Katie's excitement for gardening started in fourth grade.
She planted a seedling in her yard, which grew into a forty pound cabbage.
"So I thought why don't I donate my cabbage to a soup kitchen," Stagliano said.
It helped feed 275 people.
That is when Katie's Krops took root, and it has flourished. And so has Katie!
We've watched her grow for almost a decade. Now she is preparing for a new chapter.
"Next year I will be going to the college of Charleston," Stagliano said.
Katie is headed to downtown Charleston. She admits she won't be able lend a hand as often.
"Ok I'm gonna try not to cry today because it is kind of bittersweet," Stagliano said.
Stacy, Katie's mom, has been along for the whole ride.
"It's been just a true blessing," Stacy Stagliano said.
But Katie's Krops and the dozens of gardens will not wither away.
"I have faith that everyone is going to come up, help out and that everything will go great," Stagliano said.
Katie has spent half of her life helping the hungry.
Now she's passing the shovels to the next generation of gardeners.
Katie says she plans on studying communications at College of Charleston.
Again, Katie Krops will continue.
Stagliano plans to fundraise and help out in the gardens and food donations as much as possible.