Sam spent 26 years incarcerated in California’s prison system, during which time he worked nearly constantly to better the lives of others. He worked with Alliance for Change as a co-leader of the Mentor Department, helping to develop peer mentors. He worked as a crisis peer counselor for Brother’s Keepers, and as both vice chairman and executive chairman of the San Quentin Prison Men’s Advisory Council. For more than six years, he served as the facilitator of the Victim Offender Education Group, a project of the Insight Prison Project.
Once released, Sam’s desire to help people better themselves, give back to the community, and improve public safety has continued. This is why he supports participants of the Homecoming Project at Impact Justice as they transition back to society after their release from prison. He helps participants navigate systems including transportation and government services, offers guidance to find jobs and enroll in school, and provides emotional support and mentorship.
Sam is in training to be a deacon for the Center of Hope Community Church. He also volunteers at Arsola’s House Inc., a residential facility that provides housing to people with special needs. He was recently featured on a documentary produced by the Oprah Winfrey Network called “Released,” which chronicles six individuals making the transition from long prison terms to coming back home. Sam earned his associates degree in General Education from Patten University.