Sam was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated high school (barely!) in 2006 before heading out to boot camp ten days later. In his five years as an active duty Marine, Sam deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. He separated from active duty as a Sergeant in 2011 and like so many other veterans, felt lost being back in the real world. He decided to enroll into City College of San Francisco for the big BAH money and, to his surprise, fell in love with the education. With the help of some tremendous allies, Sam was able to rebuild the self confidence and work ethic he had as a Marine and used those skills to excel in the academic world. He was accepted to UC, Berkeley where he joined some of the finest veterans in the country at the world's most prestigious public university. Sam is now finishing the last four credits of his undergraduate degree at NYU, using the GI bill fully to his advantage, and working in the veteran nonprofit space.