Samantha Ross was born and raised in Coney Island, Brooklyn. At an early age, she possessed a strong appreciation for her neighborhood that motivated her to volunteer at local community based organizations. She enrolled in the Explorers Program at PSA#1, obtained a job as a Camp Counselor at the Boys and Girls Club and fed the less fortunate at Coney Island Gospel Assembly.
In January 2014, Ms. Ross was hired as a Community Liaison for Mark Treyger, Council Member of the 47th Council District, representing Bensonhurst, Gravesend, and Coney Island. As a longtime resident of Coney Island, Ms. Ross was honored to serve the people of her community on the Councilman’s behalf, and this position allowed her to delve into the growing issues in her neighborhood. Ms. Ross soon realized that although Coney Island is a neighborhood with rich history and spirit, it also had profound challenges: low income, subpar education, and homelessness. She coordinated events such as the Back-to-School Blast, Free Family Movie Nights, clothing drives, HSE classes, Senior Work Out events and job fairs. Her diligence and passion for event planning earned her a promotion as Director of Special Events.
In January 2015, Ms. Ross’ younger brother was a victim of gun violence. The unnecessary shooting gave her a new outlook on life and she became obsessed with the idea of decreasing gun violence in her neighborhood. She joined forces with local residents to coordinate Stop the Violence basketball tournaments, youth empowerment, drug awareness seminars, Unity Day and Free Concerts by the Beach. She recruited the assistance of residents, which aided in the decrease in crime. Amazingly, and because of everyone’s hard work, there were no shootings in the summer of 2016.
Ms. Ross hopes to one day start a non-profit organization to benefit youth. She continues to work in Coney Island with hopes it flourishes into the beautiful and vibrant neighborhood she knows it has the potential to be.