Alumni Update: Catch Up with Sammy Sammartino

Sammy Sammartino has continued to make remarkable strides in his education, career, and personal life since graduating from THEI’s programming and returning home post-release. Currently serving as the Alumni and Office Coordinator at THEI, Sammy plays a vital role in connecting alumni and supporting current students.

Recently, Sammy was honored as the Keynote Speaker at THEI's 2nd Annual Path Forward Luncheon on April 2nd. His inspiring speech highlighted the transformative power of education and community engagement, reflecting on his own experiences and the impact of THEI's programs.

“You invested in a guy who was considered broken, a criminal, a convict, and worthless in the community, and you reshaped him. You educated him. You transformed him”

Sammy's commitment to education is evident in his academic pursuits. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration at Belmont University, building on his Associate of Science in Business Administration from Nashville State Community College. Sammy's dedication to learning and growth exemplifies the resilience and determination that define his journey. 

Looking ahead, Sammy is focused on completing his bachelor's degree at Belmont, with a graduation date hopefully in spring 2025. He also continues to make a meaningful impact at THEI. He is passionate about bringing alumni back to the program, showing them that they will always have community support here, through both their wins and losses. Sammy is also hopeful in the pursuit to expand the reach of THEI's programs to more individuals in need. As a measurable goal, he would like to see THEI’s degree-bearing programs at each one of Tennessee’s prisons, with at least half of the eligible residents there taking classes.

Regarding advice for current students and alumni, Sammy encourages everyone to dream big, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and continue to educate themselves. He believes in the power of THEI's community and the limitless possibilities it offers to those who are willing to invest in themselves.

Sammy is a proud, shining part of THEI's alumni and professional network. As he continues to inspire others with his journey, his commitment to empowering individuals and building a supportive community serves as a guiding light for the future of THEI and its alumni.