“I initially wanted to become a doctor as a kid to be like my father, and now it is a field of science that interests me because I get to help people directly,” said Samuel. He hasn’t decided on which kind of doctor he wishes to become quite yet, but he will study Biology as an undergraduate student. Both of his older siblings went to Purdue, and his older brother is also becoming a doctor – another reason he wants to attend the university.
Originally from Marquette, Michigan, Samuel is the middle child of five, with older sister Gabriella, 24, older brother Anthony, 23, younger brother Emmanuel, 17, and younger sister Isabella, 11. They are parishioners at Christ the King Parish in South Bend, where Samuel attended kindergarten through eighth-grade.
“I am Catholic, and my faith has helped me to have the strength to go on when things are difficult,” said Samuel. “Praying for God’s help when I feel nervous has been a real motivator for me to try my best on whatever I am doing.”
He explained that he prays for courage as he approaches a large presentation or a challenging test. “This helps me to calm my nerves because I know God is with me and helping me,” he said.
During grade school, he became an altar server, performing those duties into high school. Now he serves as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion and a lector, of which his parents noted via email how strongly he participates in his faith life.
In addition to being involved in his faith, he has also been heavily engaged in high school academics. He spent time as Quiz Bowl Captain, as well as a member of the Mathletes, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and Chess Club.
Samuel was awarded a National Gold Medal from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for his piece entitled, “How to Become a Successful Writer in One Hour.” Receiving the title of salutatorian is another honor he holds near and dear to his heart.
“It means a lot to me to be named salutatorian because it recognizes all of the hard work that I have put in these past four years,” he said.
His brother Emmanuel, who also attends Saint Joseph, affirmed his diligent efforts: “It is clear that Sam was able to accomplish so much because of his hard work and perseverance, and we are all so proud of him,” he said.
Samuel praised his school for the positive impact it left on him. “My classmates, teachers, counselors and the administration at Saint Joe have all been so supportive and helpful for me during high school,” he said. “Whether that is helping me study for an upcoming test or answering questions when I am confused, the people at Saint Joe have always helped me along the way.”
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