Letters from the Learner

Samantha Wilson, Executive Learner of Child Leader Project, is available for project-based contracts and consulting, speaking engagements, trainings or small group discussions on local and international social justice work, youth organizing and young adult leadership development. Check out her biography by clicking the headers below!

Formal Education

Samantha is a seminarian at Claremont School of Theology, pursuing her Masters of Divinity with an emphasis in Leadership for Social Justice Community Organizations. She joined Claremont in 2011 when she was awarded the University Scholars Award– the highest academic and merit-based scholarship at the university.

Samantha is an alumna of the University of California, Riverside where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Global Studies and a minor in Religious Studies in 2009. Serving as the student commencement speaker for her graduation ceremony, Samantha also received several awards on behalf of her class, including the Humanitarian of the Year, Women’s Civic Engagement Leader of the Year, Individual Leader of the Year and Intercultural Leader of the Year. She graduated having completed both Lower and Upper Division Honors with the University Honors Program and having been inducted as a member of the prestigious national honor society Phi Beta Kappa and the religious studies honor society Theta Alpha Kappa.

Transnational Activism

Development of Child Leader Project in USA and India
Samantha studied abroad in India during her junior year at the Central University of Hyderabad. She has since returned to India eight times to develop youth and young-adult programming through her for-impact community organization, the Child Leader Project (CLP). Samantha founded CLP in 2008 with a proposal to create a holistic, social-justice focused leadership and scholarship program for rural youth at a school in South India.

Since this inception, the non-profit organization now organizes children and young adult collectives in the Arlanza community of Riverside, CA and across South India. CLP has also led trainings for a government-run organization in Leon, Mexico to assist the municipality’s office in creating social change-oriented components within their existing youth service programs. The initial project in India currently operates on its own by Indian young adults as a separate organization, the Trust for Youth and Child Leadership.

CLP has been recognized and awarded grants by the Community Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative for its “exemplary efforts” in the field of education and peace and justice in the USA and India. Samantha represented CLP at the Clinton Global Initiative meetings from 2008-2011 and also presented at the Global Health and Innovation Conference at Yale University in 2010. CLP was also featured on CNN Local Edition and honored by the International Relations Council of Riverside.

Samantha serves as a board member on the International Relations Council of Riverside, CA and the Riverside Neighborhood Partnership (RNP), representing CLP and the role of youth leadership on city boards. She has received two awards from Riverside Human Relations Commission for this work– in 2009 by the Riverside Juneteenth Committee as the “Gem of the Community” and in 2011 as a “Riverside Hero” for her youth empowerment work in California and India, including facilitating a trip of eight Arlanza youth to South India to meet Indian activists abroad in the summer of 2011.

Leadership in Interfaith and Religious Communities

Samantha has also served within several progressive interfaith community spaces. Raised as a Unitarian Universalist in the Universalist Unitarian Church of Riverside, she began giving sermons in Southern California churches at the age of 16.

She has served on the Board of Directors for UU Legislative Ministries (UULMCA) from 2007-2010 and helped initiate their Young Leaders Project to develop a UU young adult, state-wide leadership training “SALT” (Spiritual Activist Leadership Training). She was also the recipient of the Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation Margaret Fuller Award in 2009 with a grant to support her travel and small writing project on her experiences organizing alongside youth and women in South India and Southern California. She currently serves as a consultant to the project, offering assistance and facilitating specific workshops for young adults across California.

Upon graduation in 2009, Samantha initiated and developed the Office of Undergraduate Research in the Community at the University of California, Riverside. Serving for two years, she was responsible for developing and coordinating a new campuswide program and resource office for undergraduate students to facilitate their own community-based and participatory action research projects. In two years under Samantha’s leadership, the research office hosted over 100 students in over 25 different community-based research projects.

Samantha’s current interests include building coalitions, cultivating authentic relationships and strengthening the connections between youth and young adult empowerment, justice, wholeness and sustainability in Riverside. She is guided by the concept that “global change is expressed locally” and intends to pursue further training in permaculture and sustainable design as well as Spanish in order to strengthen her work through Child Leader Project in the USA, Mexico and India.

Contact & Resume

Contact Samantha by email at samantha@childleaderproject.org, or by phone at (951)-616-7723 in the USA or (91)-9655480766 in India.

Samantha Wilson’s CV

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