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Why do you come to work at Root & Rebound every day?

I come to work at R&R everyday to answer the following question as it relates to organizational structures, education, criminal justice and all systems of power: "How would you structure this system if you didn't know the role that you would play in the system?"

Samantha Epstein

Director of people systems & management

Samantha is the Director of People Systems & Management at Root & Rebound. Prior to joining the team at Root & Rebound, she served as the Associate Director of College & Career Success at KIPP Bay Area Schools and led the region’s college completion and career-readiness efforts for over 1,400 alumni, while also directly advising a caseload of 75 college-aged students attending two-year and four-year colleges. During her time at KIPP Bay Area Schools, Samantha spearheaded the region’s first financial literacy and savings program by securing an MOU with Utah’s 529 Plan and enrolling over 100 families into college savings accounts, with over 50% of participants making recurring contributions and saving $111,000 for college in the program’s first year. Samantha was selected to participate in the KIPP Through College Emerging Leaders Fellowship and served as the interim Director of KIPP Through College from November 2017 - February 2018.

Since relocating to the Bay Area in 2010, Samantha has taught English courses at San Quentin through the Prison University Project, and in 2011 she launched a peer mentorship program through the social justice program, Coalition for Justice at San Quentin State Prison. This work has shed new light on the challenges of navigating reentry post-release and was the impetus to serving on Root & Rebound’s Board of Directors before joining the team full-time in October 2018.

Samantha received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Afro-American & African Studies from the University of Michigan, while spending a semester at the University of Cape Town in 2005. She earned her certificate in College Admissions and Career Planning from UC Berkeley Extensions and is currently pursuing her MBA at the Lorry I. Lokey School of Business and Public Policy at Mills College.