Samantha Kimmel

Samantha Kimmel

Program Coordinator - High School

Texas OnCourse

Austin, TX USA

Be open to new learning opportunities and be okay with working your way from the bottom up.


My road in life took a while to figure out.
I chose my college because it was located near the beach. Although I wouldn't recommend that route to everyone, I'm so grateful for the decision I made and its impact on my education and future.
I almost failed out of college my freshmen year. I suffered from mental health problems and couldn't cope with my newfound independence. Luckily, I found my rhythm and started earning straight As.
After college, I moved to Austin on a whim. Again, not a choice I would necessarily recommend, but it worked for me! I've been in Austin for over 9 years and am so happy to feel "home."
I spent my early 20s caring for my father after he was diagnosed with cancer. It put my career plans on hold but also taught me the importance of family and interpersonal connections.
I wasn't sure how to get into the field of education, so I started volunteering with a local nonprofit. Here, I found my passion for teaching and for working with students in general.
My volunteer role led to a full time position with the organization. In this role, I ironically found out I did NOT want to teach, but that I did want to advise students on college and career options.
Eventually, I was promoted to manage the college readiness program at the nonprofit organization I once volunteered for. Through this role, realized I love learning and leading others.
Now, I work way more "behind the scenes" than I once did, but I can very clearly see how my prior learning / life experiences got me to where I am today.


Program Coordinator - High School

I source and review content for an online college-access learning portal.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Helping People

Day to Day

I'm very new to my job, but my day-to-day involves a lot of reading / research and writing. In my role, I am considered a "subject matter expert," so it's important that I take the time to review and fully understand the topics I'm writing on. I focus on college attainment subjects, with the hope that I can lend knowledge to others so that they can better support students through the college-going process.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

If you're in college, start volunteering with an education nonprofit. If you're out of college, start volunteering with an education nonprofit! Serving with AmeriCorps is a great career stepping stone. Be open to new learning opportunities and be okay with working your way from the bottom up—it's likely you'll have to start off low on the job totem pole. Try to find a mentor who can coach you and help you grow your network of professional allies.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:


The Noise I Shed

From Parents:

"You shouldn't major in English or philosophy—those majors will never lead to a real career opportunity."

Challenges I Overcame

Mental Health Issues