Sam Shopinski, of Detroit, has started a one-year internship with International Samaritan (I.S.). He will be assisting with program development, meeting with campus ministers, and conducting presentations about I.S. service learning trips. Sam is also assisting in video production.
“We are extremely grateful for Sam’s volunteer work,” said Fr. Don Vettese, S.J., founder and president of I.S. “He is an incredibly bright and generous young man. As with any nonprofit, we rely on the support of our volunteers who, daily, help us serve the poor.”
After graduating from U of D Jesuit High School in 2002, Sam Shopinski studied molecular biology at Kenyon College. In 2006-07, he volunteered as a relief worker to help families displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
“I led groups of volunteers from around the U.S. to gut waterlogged homes and comfort struggling New Orleanians,” said Sam. “Growing up with the support of family and a strong education, my stories could not compare with their tragedies.”
After a short apprenticeship in organic farming, Sam served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in St. Lucia (2007-09).
“I was assigned to the rural village of Banse,” he said. “As a community organizer, I helped create a primary school library, promote a National Chess-in-Schools Initiative, and develop better business practices with farmers within their Fair Trade affiliate. I learned to live more simply, to break from my American goal-oriented, results-based approach and to appreciate community life.”
His experiences had such a big impact on his heart, that he then spent a third year in the Peace Corps working with the St. Lucia Diabetes & Hypertension Association (2010). Sam is also currently applying to medical school.
“Seeing economic disparities and social service abroad has motivated me to focus on meeting the needs of those with fewest resources,” said Sam. “I hope to create opportunities for others to share International Samaritan’s mission of alleviating the extreme poverty that exists in garbage dump communities.”