Sam Antenucci’s American Red Cross experience started with her dad, who donated blood regularly. When he could no longer give blood after surviving cancer, Sam picked up the mantle and starting donating at Temple University blood drives where she was a student.
“I wanted to do more, but my class schedule wasn’t the most flexible,” she recalled.
Sam soon found a home as a communications volunteer with the Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania Region, which allowed her to give back on her schedule and flex her writing muscles, as well as participate in smoke alarm installation events and other Red Cross programs. She’s been a Red Cross volunteer since 2016.
“I always enjoyed writing, but I wasn’t doing it as part of my schoolwork. It was a good fit,” she said.
After graduating from Temple with a degree in Kinesiology, Sam became a certified EMT and worked in the EMS field for a year before starting a graduate program in Biomedical Science.
“I wanted to pursue different experiences before I applied to medical school. One thing I’ve always wanted to do was become an EMT. There was a significant appeal to the career because you can work with people during some of the most challenging times of their lives. I wanted an opportunity to start making a difference in patients’ lives, even if I wasn’t in medical school just yet,” she shared.
After finishing the EMT program, Sam transitioned to teaching critical EMS skills as an instructor at Thomas Jefferson University. The experience has prompted her to pursue a career as a clinical educator in addition to medical school.
“I have EMS to thank for kindling a hidden passion in me that I would have never known about if I did not sign up for the [EMT] course.”
After finishing her master’s degree, Sam became an adjunct faculty member in the cadaver lab at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine – where she, herself, will start medical school this August.
In addition to her two teaching gigs and communications volunteer work, Sam found time to give a little more. She recently became a Red Cross Biomedical Transportation Specialist, picking up blood at the Philadelphia Donation Center and delivering it to area hospitals.
- by Alana Mauger