Stories of Service: Samantha Bradley

Teaming Up with an AmeriCorps Member to Make Her Dream of a Military Career Come True

Teresa Thompson, an AmeriCorps member with the Carroll County Public Schools Lift Up AmeriCorps and winner of the 2015 Robert E. Wone Award, recently shared an inspirational story about the impact of national service on a young person in her program. Teresa says student Samantha Bradley described herself in the past as a troubled teenager, but completely changed her outlook after the birth of her son. Working up to three jobs in addition to attending school where she excelled in her school work, Determined not rely on the government for assistance, Samantha saw the military as an opportunity for a goal-oriented path with which would provide income and benefits to support her family. Teresa began working with Samantha to achieve her goal of entering the military, however, she was told she needed to lose weight before she could enlist. As Teresa worked with Samantha throughout the summer, a recruiter helped her with her physical fitness. After only a month and a half, Samantha had lost 50 pounds and is leaving for basic training in November! Additionally, Samantha’s scores were so high, she received a $40,000 bonus and qualified her for a prestigious radar/sonar job. Samantha plans to come back after basic training to inspire the other students at the Alternative Education Center! Teresa says that AmeriCorps can be challenging, “But then a student like Samantha comes along,” adding, “these students that don’t get nearly the attention and praise they deserve.”

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