Celebrating Sam Stokesberry '09, Founders' Award Recipient
Taking up residence in South African she began working with young people through the medium of soccer and became involved with a non-profit organization called STOP – stop human trafficking of people. In this capacity, she took on the role of educator giving presentations around the topics of human trafficking and sexual abuse awareness.
From here it was off to Uganda for outreach work aimed at women in the adult entertainment industry as well as men and women addicted to pornography. Using presentation opportunities in Canada and the US, the members of XXXchurch provided spiritual support to those who engaged with them.
Next to Cape Town, South Africa and Straatwerk (translated to street work in Afrikaans). Here she traveled at night among the sex workers with whom she built a positive relationship. This interaction became the basis for entrance to detoxification centers, legal aid, or whatever else they needed. After all, it was about restoring the dignity of each person as a child of God.
Most recently Sam could be found in Nigeria to interface with survivors of human trafficking.
In the middle of it all, she came home and gave an effective and moving presentation to the current students at CMCP about human trafficking. I can tell you that the students were absolutely riveted to her words; which is no easy thing for anyone to do with a group of American teenagers!
As a graduate student she looks forward to finishing her work in clinical mental health counseling with an emphasis on trauma-focused care.
The adage “don’t watch what they say, watch what they do” tells the story of Sam Stokesberry. What she has done, and continues to do tells the story of a young woman who isn’t satisfied with the current plight of those who are exploited at the most basic human level.
Sam, Blessed Chaminade would call you a founder because you have made it your business to help those who are in the most difficult of circumstances and to help them see a different reality for their life.
To say that your community here at CMCP is proud of you is a true understatement – you are Marianist at its best.