Hi, I’m Samantha. I am a passionate advocate for systemic social change and global justice. I believe that real, lasting change is possible, but only when the voices of marginalised communities are amplified and truly heard, and when unjust power structures and inequitable policies are dismantled, so that these communities can access the rights and opportunities they should have always had.
I have spent nearly a decade working with inspiring people in the education & international development space, and I have seen first-hand that transformation is possible, but only when people and organisations ask themselves tough questions, explore ways of doing things differently, and invest in developing the capacity, vision and voice of their teams and individuals from the communities they serve.
My background is in education – I am a fully qualified secondary school maths & economics teacher, and I spent several years teaching in the UK and Cambodia (which is a country I will always hold close to my heart, and which inspired my passion for authentic social change). I held the role of Curriculum Leader for 2 years, during which I managed a team of teachers, and was responsible for their professional development, including the mentoring of trainee or newly qualified teachers. I implemented changes in the department, always geared towards two outcomes; improving the morale and productivity of my team, and improving outcomes & opportunities for our students.
I have spent the past 5 years out of the classroom, working as a consultant for NGOs in South East Asia and Africa, and as a coach for individuals in and out of the workplace. As a consultant, my role included offering strategic advice, as well as producing training materials, and delivering professional development to staff within the organisations. However, I strongly believe that creating an empowerment-focused culture rather than a directive/instructional culture in all organisations is key to transformative change and long-term success, with NGOs being no exception. In fact, with large cultural and contextual barriers to overcome between those in HQ and those working at a local level, this is even more critical. This means that I have shifted away from the consulting/directive model; for me the most empowering form of service is through coaching, as it puts the individual centre stage and helps them find their own voice and capacity to change. Coaching is empowerment.
I have personally faced many of the challenges my clients face, from a lack of clarity around my purpose and career path, to the self-diminishing tendencies of perfectionism, low self-confidence, people pleasing and that overwhelming fear of failure. A major health diagnosis in my late 20s caused me to re-evaluate my life and career; in particular, what difference I want to make to the world, and how I could do that in a sustainable way. As a result, along with the support of friends, an exceptional therapist and fantastic coaches, I have recalibrated myself and my life from the ground up, and now lead a much happier, healthier, more meaningful life in the beautiful city of Barcelona. Personal growth, though, is a lifelong journey, and I am always learning, asking questions, and continuing to work on my own development.
I believe my experience working with different people from diverse backgrounds is what is most crucial to my work, but as there is always an interest in qualifications, I will include these here:
· MA:Hons (cantab) from the University of Cambridge in Economics & Land Economy
· MA:Hons from UCL in Education & International Development
· PGCE from UCL Institute of Education in Mathematics
· Executive Coach Certification from Bailey Balfour (ICF-accredited programme at ACC level).