As a native San Diegan, Sam grew up with all the sun, diversity, and beauty California has to offer. He graduated from San Diego State University (SDSU) with a Master of Social Work degree and Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPSC), which emphasizes on collaborations with K-12 schools, families, and students.
Sam has worked with youth and adults ranging from 3 to 80 years old. Experience includes work as an inclusion instructor for children with special needs, a social rehabilitation counselor for adults with moderate to severe special needs, and a social work clinician for adult refugees with severe mental health conditions.
He conducted research regarding LGBT+ young adults and stigma, which garnered SDSU’s Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Award. Sam was 1 of 40 social workers across the country to be selected as a fellow for the Minority Fellowship Program (MFPY), sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to address mental health and substance abuse needs of youth, particularly those of ethnic, racial, sexual, and gender minorities.
He hopes to continue working with at-risk communities including war refugees and LGBT+ youth. Sam enjoys great food, tennis, and kind company.