Sam hails from Greenfield, CA where he embarked on a yearlong walk across America, arriving in New York City on November 1st, 2014. His journey inspired him to give back and he became a teacher in a John F. Kennedy Center Turnaround Arts elementary school.
Sam joined the Focus 5 team in 2022 and travels nationally leading the behavioral literacy work Acting Right. His residency “I Can’t Get This Song Out of My Head!” Academic Songwriting in the Classroom” draws upon his music background of singing in acapella choirs and teaching himself guitar. Sam is also the founder of Avatar Arts, a Greenfield, CA based arts company that leads the following classes: Developing Artistic Identity, The Explorer’s Academy, and Ping Ho’s Beat The Odds drumming program.
Sam’s primary directive as a teaching artist is to help students grow and learn in an engaging, healing, and rigorous way. He holds a B.A. in English Literature from Lewis and Clark College, a Social Emotional Arts Certificate from UCLArts & Healing, and has received 100+ hours of training in mindfulness and Nonviolent Communication.