For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Samantha Brown


Bold Points






Hello everyone, My name is Samantha Brown. I’m a lifelong resident of New Jersey. I’m currently 23 years old and enrolled at Kean University for the Bachelors program. My major is Criminal Justice and I’m currently minoring in Health and Psychology. I will be graduating in May of 2025. I’m hoping to go back to school someday in the future to receive a degree in History and Creative Writing. I’m a first generation student, I am one of 11 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. My hope is to find employment in my counties Special Victims Unit someday, after completing academy and four years of patrol. I’m currently an active human rights activist, and hope to be part of the movement that changes our country for the better as we move forward.


Kean University

Bachelor's degree program
2023 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Criminal Justice and Corrections, General

Brookdale Community College

Associate's degree program
2021 - 2023
  • Majors:
    • Criminal Justice and Corrections, General


  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Law Enforcement

    • Dream career goals:


    • Home Health Aide

      Public Partnerships
      2019 – 20234 years



    2009 - 20101 year

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Elementary schoolVolunteer
      2009 – 2010

    Future Interests




    New Jersey First Generation Scholarship
    College is an unattainable dream for many in my family. There is no legacy of Ivy League schools, high end careers, or a happy ever after. The generations of Browns leave behind a legacy of teen pregnancies, drug & alcohol addictions, mental illness, chronic diseases, poverty, and an early invitation to the grave. Those of us who live past our teen years are often met with a grim fate not much longer after our twenties. We’re lucky if we get to see our sixties. The roots of my family tree date back centuries. The first of our names dates back before the Pilgrims. The branches of each blood line all share the same stories though. Children forced to grow up before the age of 15 to help their families survive. My parents included. In my mother’s very first day of high-school, my grandmother signed her out. She needed her to get a job so she could help put food on the table and keep the younger kids alive. She had to help pay the bills and raise kids that weren’t her own. She was an adult before she ever got the chance to be a child. She was only 14. My father was lucky enough to obtain his GED in his twenties. Shortly thereafter he joined the Navy. He served during the Vietnam war. His role was finding the dead bodies of soldiers and bringing them home. He never talked about the things he had seen. It was obvious that it was painful when you looked into his eyes. My cousins on both sides of my family are all teen parents, addicts, suffering from mental illness, or have cancer and are dying. None of them have ever attended college, some of them finished high school while others simply gave up. They all have the same life. I don’t want that life. I didn’t make it through high school either. My educators failed me when it was obvious I had a learning disorder. They failed me when I begged for time off to mourn the passing of my father when I was 15. They failed me when it was obvious that I could no longer focus on school because all I could think about was how I wanted my life to end. They failed me, so I took matters into my own hands. In February of 2018 I dropped out of high school to pursue my GED instead. It took me a few years to pass the exams, but I finally did it in March of 2021. The day I found out that I passed, I immediately applied to community college. I had one goal in mind. I was going to break the generational cycle. I was the first in my family on either side to attend college. I was the first to graduate as well. I graduated from Brookdale Community College in May of this year. It took so much hard work, but I did it. The tears my mother shed as she watched me walk across that stage were tears from everyone before me. My grandparents who never made it through high school. My uncles and aunts who never got the opportunity to go to college. Every last one. I may have walked the same path as many of them, but I was finally able to unlock the door at the end. I will pave a new way for future generations of my family. Our legacy will change. I will continue to break down the walls. I still have two years left, so my work isn’t done yet. -S
    Trever David Clark Memorial Scholarship
    Growing up, from the time I was six years old to the time I was fifteen, I attended more funerals than birthday parties. Every year I was standing before a casket and saying goodbye to yet another loved one. My first funeral was my grandfathers. He had a military funeral and even today I can still hear the guns going off when they did the salute. His death changed the way I looked at the world from a young age. Instead of thinking about rainbows, happiness, and sunshine, all I could think about was sadness and loss. It affected my ability to make friends which resulted in being bullied for years. My first year of middle school I had a friend who threatened to end her life in a letter. Reading those words set me back to the moment I watched my grandfather being lowered in the ground when I was six years old. I told her mother and our teaches and she was sent to counseling. My choice led to her bullying me from the time I was 11 to 13. She tortured me nonstop in middle school. I wanted to end my life, when my only crime was trying to save hers. I was diagnosed with depression, bipolar, anxiety, and PTSD at the young age of 11. I always thought, what do I have to be sad about? I’m just a kid When I was 12 years old, the summer before 7th grade, I went on vacation to an Aunts house. My parents wanted me away from this girl and her friends. They still texted me and harassed me online the entire time I was there. I begged my Aunt to let me go home. She didn’t understand why and even called me a cry baby. What she didn’t know was that I was planning to end my life when I got home. Thankfully my mother found me before it was too late and saved my life. Had she not decided to check on me that day I would’ve never seen my middle school graduation, getting my GED, meeting my boyfriend who’s the love of my life, getting my first pet, getting into college, and meeting my baby sister. I was also around to prevent my own cousin from overdosing when I was 18. I saved his life when he was at his worst. Life today is still difficult while managing to cope with my diagnosis. I do everything in my power to stay alive.