What's great about Ashford is that everyone knows you and supports you and has your best interest at heart.
Because she was a part of the Ashford University women's soccer team for four years, Samantha witnessed tremendous growth. "There were only nine of us on the team my freshman year. It's amazing to see where the team is now, winning the regional conference and all, and to know that I was part of building that. I have made some great friends along the way, and the sport has taught me hard work, self-discipline, and how to be a leader.
"What's great about Ashford is that everyone knows you and supports you and has your best interest at heart. My teachers came to all of my games and if I ever needed anything I knew they had my back. I appreciate the opportunities that Ashford has given me; I think I'm a completely different person than I was four years ago."
After she graduated in May 2010 at age 22, Samantha turned her efforts to a new goal – joining the Peace Corps. "I'm not really sure where the idea came from, but I remember some people saying, 'You can't do that - you'll never make it,' and that made me want it so much more. The application process was a lot of hard work and very time consuming, and I had almost given up the thought of making it when I received a phone call congratulating me. I was immediately excited and scared. It's a long time to be away from my family and friends, but I feel this is something I really need to do."
When we last spoke to her, Samantha was preparing to head to Cameroon in June 2011, where she'd be putting her Bachelor of Science in Biology, with minors in Chemistry and Advanced Science, to good use. "My job status will be a high school science teacher. I'm not sure where in Cameroon I will be located, but I hear the country is very beautiful. I will have three months of training that involves intense language training in French, and then I'm on my own in my village for two years. Teaching students whose education has been vastly different from mine is exciting; I love the prospect of being able to pass on what fascinated me. I also know that this experience will open many doors and will teach me things I might never have otherwise learned."
After she returns from Cameroon, Samantha plans to continue her education and receive her Master's and PhD in Microbiology. Her dream job is to work for the Center for Disease Control (CDC).