RPTS Alumnus Recognized as Champion of Change by the White House
Samuel Roberson, Ph.D., was recognized in early October as one of the 12 Champions of Change for his diligent work in 4-H and FFA.
“I was thrilled and excited to be recognized for a body of community service work that was done with no connection to the possibility of such recognition at the time,” Roberson said.
This award, presented by the White House, honors those who create sustainable change in their communities, and for Roberson, that has been 28 years in the making.
Roberson began his trial of leadership as class president of his middle school. After he graduated high school and college, he began volunteer coaching for youth sports, mentoring young boys and girls and hoping to make a positive impact in their lives.
“My decision to return to graduate school and make a career shift was part of my effort to create a more purpose driven life and career,” Roberson said.
Roberson then moved on to provide a higher commitment to his community serving as a Community Services Commissioner in California. As a result of his work in the community, Roberson decided it was time for a change; he would pursue his passion for positively impacting the lives of others.
Roberson attended Texas A&M University to study youth development in the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism, where he proudly earned and received his Ph.D. in May 2012.
During his time at Texas A&M, Roberson discovered 4-H and the positive opportunities it offers to young boys and girls. Due to the fascination with and impact that 4-H had on Roberson, he continues his work in 4-H, serving as a Program Specialist in Prairie View A&M University’s statewide 4-H program.
Roberson provides supportive research, programming, and evaluation services and ensures the success of their 4-H programs in impacting Texas youth with an emphasis on youth from limited resource backgrounds and minorities.
“I am blessed to be positioned to help stimulate the gift of learning and positive youth development through scientific learning and life skills development among youth that are like me,” Roberson said.
Based on his experiences growing up, Roberson has worked hard to provide inspirational insight and encouragement to youth in his community and to plant seeds of aspiration in the youth that he works with just as his mentors did for him.
“This recognition acknowledges the support and sacrifice from my wife Traci and our children, which allowed me to participate in opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others outside of our home,” Roberson said. “To me, this recognition honors not only myself, but the many youth, families, and communities that have allowed me to be a part of a community village difference,” Roberson said.
Cera Southerland, ’13, is an agricultural communications and journalism student. She is chief student leader of IAAS and also serves as an Ambassador and Mentor for Study Abroad.