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Sam Yee

Program Director

Sam’s passion for custom building educational programs was sparked through the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. In response to the natural disaster, the TOMODACHI program was initiated to teach local Japanese youth about community resilience, rural revitalization and leadership. As a coordinator and youth mentor for the program, Sam was able to witness with his own eyes what creating empowering spaces can do for students, and what investing in youth can do for communities long-term. With this discovery, Sam has dedicated more than ten years to learn about how to direct and foster cohesive learning environments for students around the world.

After studying psychology, communications and education at UC Davis, Sam dedicated two years to learn more about the Japanese education system through teaching on Awaji Island with the JET program. Sam return to his hometown in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2018, where he spent five years custom building and facilitating both in-person and online educational programs for Japanese high school and university students.

As a Program Director for VIA, Sam is continuing his love for empowering students to become the best version of themselves, and equipping them with the tools and mindsets to become active members in their community both locally and globally.

In his free time, Sam enjoys cooking, studying mixed martial arts, and bouncing ideas with friends about education over a cup of coffee.