As an educator with over 15 years of experience working with youth of all ages and backgrounds, Ms. Sams has heard every label: troubled, disadvantaged, challenged, at-risk, high-risk… the list goes on and on. Labels are used when adults do not want to take the time to go deeper to uncover what makes a young person thrive.
Jamila Sams has experience in making the impossible possible with a “No Excuses” approach to change. She started her career as an elementary teacher at Robert W. Coleman Elementary, Baltimore City’s only year-round school, at the age of 21. She then went on to direct the Malcolm X Youth Center, an alternative school for 250 youth who required educational, health, and employment services in partnership with Baltimore’s Mayor’s Office of Employment Development. Later, she created an optimal learning environment for The Crossroads School, which became one of the top charter schools in Maryland. Her final position in Baltimore was Assistant Principal of one of Maryland’s once severely neglected K-8 schools, Commodore John Rodgers, where she, alongside the “Dream Team,” managed to turn-around the school and carved its’ path for success.
Over the years, Ms. Sams understood the importance of creating connections with the business community. In 2011, she decided to pursue an opportunity that would allow her to leverage additional resources to schools through corporate mentoring programs. As the Director of Programs for Mentor Foundation USA, an affiliate of Mentor Foundation International, Jamila created customized mentoring and career exposure programs that have connected hundreds of high school students with companies such as ENDO, H&M, Skanska ID, M&T Bank, HOK, Atlantic Media and Qlik Technologies to name a few.
In addition to providing youth with early career exposure, Jamila also created programs designed to promote substance abuse prevention and healthy living. In 2011, she created the Shattering the Myths Youth Rally (an interactive event that shatters the myths youth have about substance abuse), leading to several opportunities to speak at the White House on panels that addressed issues about substance misuse prevention and its’ connection to youth and education.
Ms. Sams is a proud native of Philadelphia and a first-generation college graduate of Lincoln University, PA. She obtained her Master’s degree in Educational Administration & Supervision from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. She has over 15 years of experience in education leadership, youth development, nonprofit management, and strategic partnership development.
Go to Ms.Sams Consulting was created in response to the need for adults from schools, nonprofits, and the business community to establish positive, meaningful connections with the young people they interact with and provide opportunities to close the opportunity gap, especially within lower-income communities of color.
If you are a school, nonprofit organization, or member of the business community looking to build meaningful relationships with youth, provide them with exposure to new opportunities and/or create sustainable paths that lead them from the classroom to the boardroom. Go to Ms.Sams!