Meet Refugee Immigration Intern, Sam Tooley

Meet Indianapolis native, Samantha Tooley; BSW student at IUPUI and current Refugee Immigration Intern at the Clinic. Sam says volunteering is something she's always been passionate about, in fact, there was a time she'd have rather been volunteering and doing mission work than going to school. Sam's idealism and passion for helping others has led her to pursue a career in social services. Sam says "God calls us to give back what we can, because the stuff we have isn't ours to begin with. We need to share resources and empower the community of people in need."

At the Clinic Sam is learning much about the refugee community in Indianapolis. Sam says she had no idea the issues that impacted the refugees right here in our city. Through her internship with the Clinic Sam has learned more about the legal obstacles facing refugees in this country.  Sam confesses becoming a lawyer was not something she's wanted for herself. Sam thought she knew the legal field and believed it wasn't for her; but after working with the Clinic she has seen another side of the law and it interests her more than she expected.  The more she learns, the more she is compelled to consider law school for her future, "but I still have time to think about it." (No hurry Sam!)

When asked what social justice means to her Sam states, "Every life counts. Every voice matters. Every person is a child of God. But for whatever reason and circumstance some people have more than others and their voices are heard. Social justice is making sure all voices are heard and all stories are told."

Sam loves volunteering at the Clinic and working with Rachel Van Tyle, her supervisor. She enjoys working with others at the Clinic who "have a prayerful approach to social justice." Sam says she's motivated by "being a part of a community of people who are motivated by their faith to help others."

Sam likes to read, play outside and learn other languages. She's looking forward to finishing up her semester and traveling to Tijuana Mexico in July for a mission trip. Sam will continue to serve in her internship through the summer, for which the Clinic is grateful. Sam says she's willing to mentor new volunteers and interns at the Clinic and if you're interested in talking more with Sam about her work and general path in life she can be reached at her email:

Sam, thanks for all your hard work and passion. Keep it up, we love having you with us.