Samantha (Sam) Macam is a 2nd year MPH-MSW dual degree student in the Community Health Sciences department, with a social welfare concentration in Child & Family Well-Being. Reflecting upon her lived experience as a first-generation, low-income college student and 2nd-generation Filipino-American, Sam constantly thought about what resources and support she needed but didn’t receive as a child in order to improve her well-being, development, and health trajectory. She went to graduate school and joined MCH SIG in order to gain the experiences, knowledge, and skills necessary to support her growth in becoming an effective public health practitioner and social worker. After graduation, Sam hopes to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker providing mental health therapy to children and adolescents while also conducting community-based research on how investments in childhood, such as strong social supports and mental health services, can improve health trajectories and outcomes across the lifespan.
Her commitment to striving for health equity and social justice is evident in her professional interests and goals. She is currently a social work intern at New Heights Charter School, providing individual sessions for K-8 students targeting socioemotional learning, coping, and grief counseling. She is also a Graduate Student Researcher for a community-partnered research study with the Filipino Migrant Center, looking at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Filipino American essential workers’ well-being to advocate for increased resources for the community. As MCH SIG’s Executive Co-Chair, Sam hopes to expand the organization’s reach to provide academic, professional, and personal support for students pursuing careers in MCH.