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Meet Samuel White of SW OverUnder Scholarship in Lake Highlands

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samuel White.

Samuel, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Everything for me started off in southeast Houston in an area known as South Park. I was raised by my maternal grandparents following the death of my mother when I was only three. I have an older sister and a niece that I’d do anything for. Growing up I was a hard-headed/rowdy boy and I remember being told by several people in my family that I would end up in 1 of 2 places if something didn’t change – I’m sure most of you know what those options are for a young black boy. It wasn’t until I was a junior in high school that my mindset began to change and that the path that I should take and the legacy that I wanted to create was recognized.

I began to realize that I wanted to rewrite the narratives and show 1. People from South Park can get out and do great things 2. College IS an option for those coming up behind me in my family (I’m a first-generation grad). At 17 years old I left home to attend the great Morehouse College in Atlanta, graduated in four years with honors, and landed my first big job (now former job) at IBM. Currently, my day job is with a Private Wealth Management firm where I’m in the process of obtaining my Series 7 license. My life job is becoming a benefactor and working on making the world a better place for those who I can reach so that they may become their best. When all is said is done, I want someone to say that they lived a better life because of the work that I’ve done.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Have you ever been on a flight and experienced turbulence? If not, imagine this – smooth cruising, then a couple bumps, and then some really rough areas that make you believe that everything is coming to an end… then, the rough patches fade away and you’re at your destination and you’re even more grateful to have made it – that’s how the road has been for me. Although I’ve been able to accomplish great things, I’ve had my fair share of mess-ups. I’ve made some poor choices along the way, had days where I couldn’t see the finish line, and relationships that could have been handled differently but I choose to not let those things define me. Instead, I’ve had the chance to think about each of my actions and learned to make wiser choices – many valuable lessons were learned. Cheers to those who’ve been riding through the turbulence alongside me and my apologies to those who didn’t quite make it.

We’d love to hear more about your organization.
“Help who I can, When I can, How I can” (my motto) is what I specialize in – creating an opportunity to brighten a day or make life a bit more tolerable with the resources available to me. I’m most proud of The S.W. OverUnder scholarship which in summary was created to help high performing; lower-income students make a comfortable transition into college. I’ve made an initial investment of $1000 from my personal account to get it started and have continued to build funds through donations from all sources who are interested.

The scholarship was modeled after my experience as a student gearing up for college and looking for all financial help I could get. Plenty of organizations are willing to cut a check directly to the institution but I know first-hand that there are needs beyond that. Some students need help getting to school if they are coming from out of state, some students need things like books or maybe a laptop, some need the small things like sheets, toiletries or help purchasing a couple of groceries to help get them settled and that’s the area that I focus on.

Additionally, I see a plethora of events, seminars, and activities geared towards women empowerment and things of that nature so I want to be sure that the communities of men, young and old are not being overlooked. To me, this means creating safe spaces for men to gather in a relaxed environment to talk about the challenges they may be facing whether that’s in their careers, social, or personal lives. The goal is to not only hear about these challenges but to receive feedback from others who are experiencing the same or who have in the past. This is another project in the pipeline so I can’t give away too many details on this quite yet. I have to leave a reason for you all to invite me back later.

I have a few more undertakings in the pipeline that we can chat about soon!

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success 
Great question and so many factors that come to mind. If I had to choose just one, I’d say Mental Fortitude – being able to see things through to the finish even when it feels like the universe is conspiring against me. When I commit, I commit. Sometimes even over-committing to the point of burn out which is one thing that I’m currently working on. Since I can choose two, I’ll also say having people and resources that are willing to work with me when I tap them. They know that if I reach out to them that it’s absolutely necessary AND they believe in my aspirations.

Pricing:

  • There isn’t necessarily “pricing” since all funds for the S.W. OverUnder Scholarship are collected through donations.
  • Donations can be made via paypal.me/swoverunder (preferred) or via the CashApp: $overundersw

Contact Info:

  • Phone: 713.385.7222
  • Email: sw.overunder@gmail.com

Image Credit:
Family & Friends

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