Samantha is a thoughtful, inclusive and kind friend to all in the Reading Community and beyond. People who know Samantha would describe her as someone who's dedicated to her work and friends and family, reaching out to everyone and doing it with a cheery smile. She’s a continuous volunteer and finds so many different ways to give back to our community through the many clubs and organizations she’s a part of. Whether it’s behind stage leading warmups for the many plays she’s performed in, or leading different club meetings, everyone agrees that Samantha Gibbs is an extraordinary leader and friend, encouraging everyone to be themselves.
One of her most enjoyable moments stems from her time spent managing the Pingree Girls Basketball Team and playing in a game at the TD Garden and scoring the last basket of the game, a moment of a lifetime. Through this position, Samantha helped assist the coaching staff in getting materials ready, cleaning up after games and practices, as well as providing the team with support at games.
Her time at RMHS has given her some of the best relationships that she’s sure will last a lifetime. Samantha shares that the thing she’ll remember and miss the most from high school was starting her morning by driving to school everyday with her good friend Tim, assuring how much fun they had in the few minutes drive.
Samantha participates around the community in numerous ways because of the many clubs she’s a part of. During the fall season, she helped serve at the Snack Shack at the football games alongside the Reading Rotary Club. She’s also been able to volunteer at Rosie's Place, a women's shelter near Boston, where she was able to cook and serve food to those less fortunate.
Along with volunteering, Samantha belongs to many clubs and teams at the high school. Through these clubs she’s been able to meet new people and friendships she wouldn’t have met otherwise. Since 2018, Samantha’s been a member of Drama Club, Best Buddies, and Assistant Mixed Choir Officer. Since her freshman year, Samantha has been a Class Officer which is voted on by the student body which signifies her ability to lead and make friends with everyone. Samantha is also Co-President of the club Samantha's Harvest at RMHS, and has been since her freshman year as well.
“I am the co-president of Samantha’s Harvest Club at RMHS and we support our parent organization that raises funds and awareness to enhance the educational, medical and recreational programming for people with Down syndrome of all ages, like me,” Samantha shares.
Samantha's plans for next year consist of doing a prep year at RMHS and the POST Program and then going to Salem State University. She looks forward to the opportunity of continuing her academics in Reading next year.
Her leadership and volunteerism go beyond the Reading town lines as Samantha is dedicated to bettering and helping surrounding towns as well. She has volunteered especially on different town’s sports teams, showing her enthusiasm and love for sports and team bonding. From 2015 to now, Samantha has been the manager of the Woburn Girls’ Volleyball Team. In the summers of 2018 and 2019 Samantha was an intern for the Vikings Basketball School at Salem State University.
Samantha is a huge role model and inspiration to all, though especially to those with disabilities as she’s recognized constantly for her hard work and determination. Samantha has been participating in monthly activities with peers who have Down syndrome since 2014 through the organization Advocates in Motion, MDSC. This allows her to spend one day each year at the MDSC Annual Conference with other young adults with Down syndrome, networking and sharing experiences, strengthening self-advocacy skills and learning about the importance of leading a healthy life and building meaningful relationships. In the more recent years, Samantha was selected to represent other self-advocates with disabilities at an overnight conference held annually in Massachusetts and other states across the country in June of 2019. The Youth Leadership Forum participants build leadership skills and leave better prepared for future employment, higher education, and independent living. Also in June of 2019. Samantha was chosen to be a pilot in experiential training for aspiring employees with Down syndrome, through the Your Next Star Academy, MDSC organization in Boston. This program entailed sharpening employment seeking skills, planning for the future and strengthening their interpersonal and “people” skills to enable them to interact effectively and professionally with supervisors, co-workers and clients. Since May of 2019, Samantha’s been presenting to doctors at Tufts on the necessity and importance of care for patients with Down Syndrome. These are just a few of the reasons why Samantha stands out among her peers as she’s a dedicated volunteer, hard worker, and thoughtful friend.
In the Summer of 2018, Samantha served as an intern at Learning Express in Lynnfield, where she learned about retail and performed basic duties of a sales person. From 2018-2019, Samantha was an intern at Reading Community Television (RCTV). She also was a Classroom Assistant for Rise Preschool in Reading. From 2017-2018 she was a teachers assistant for the preschool.
More personally, Samantha also dedicates a lot of her time volunteering in Reading and our schools as well. At the high school she helps restock supplies for students in the cafe as she is Associate Cafeteria Helper since 2017. She’s also a Coffee Cart Barista and Cashier and has been since 2018, which means she helps assemble orders and prepare for delivery, as well as delivering orders to staff throughout school.
Her impact in Reading and beyond hasn’t gone unnoticed and she’s been awarded many different prestigious awards. She won the Joey Middlemiss Big Heart Award in 2015, and the Silver Award through the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts in 2016. She also won the Perseverance Award for Fine and Performing Arts in 2017, and was peer elected MVP in her Real World Problem Solving group her junior year. And more recently she won and anticipates accepting the Gold Award from the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts this year. All of these awards are great examples as to the strides and many hours Samantha dedicates to to help better our town
Some of her favorite things consist of french fries, actress Jennifer Aniston, the movie Frozen 2 and ice cream sundaes. She feels that the quote “Be humble and kind” has set such a high precedent in her life and has helped her maintain her core values of inclusivity and kindness. When she’s not volunteering or focusing on her studies, Samantha enjoys working at her favorite restaurant, Bunratty's, and spending quality time with her friends and family. She also could be seen participating in Special Olympics swimming, basketball, and golf teams. Samantha also enjoys socializing with friends, cousins, and her Grandma and Papa. She also loves jumping on her trampoline, watching tv and movies and doing her makeup.
When reflecting on her time spent at RMHS, Samantha recognizes the many different people who she's encountered that have made an impact on her experience, no matter how big or small. Samantha has loved her time spent at Reading schools and thanks her family and friends for always rendering her support through everything she does.
“Thanks to all my family and friends for supporting me. It’s nice to know that so many people are there for me! I would like to thank my parents and brothers and my whole family and all my teachers and everyone in my community who has helped me achieve my goals so far,” Samantha shares.
Samantha would also like to recognize the many encouraging and inspiring teachers she’s had along the road of her education from preschool to her senior year. She thanks every teacher she’s had and is unable to narrow in on one in particular because they have all been spectacular influences as teachers and people as well, and have helped craft the person she is today.
Samantha resides at 9 Priscilla Road with her parents Rob and Lisa, as well as her older brothers Douglas (21) and Alec (20).