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Life & Work with Samantha Peterson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Peterson.

Hi Samantha, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Like many military spouses, the question of “how I got here” is really the result of an eclectic career spent investing in each community I have the privilege of calling home. Upon arrival this past May, I dove into the community head first, seeking opportunities to contribute, collaborate, and thrive within our new niche- greater Wilmington Island.

One of the first stops was Tybee Clean Beach Volunteers, where my passion for the environment met impact opportunity after meeting locals like Tim Arnold and Dee Matowski. Amongst the buckets, the group laid out our hopes for a cleaner future for the shoreline we have all come to call home.

Fresh off of a cross-country move, I had ample time and a considerable amount of experience navigating and experiencing sustainable initiatives from the Sandhills of North Carolina to the remote coasts of Washington.

Throughout the summer, ideas, experience, and working knowledge of the local history began to take shape in the form of a positive, community-driven, collaborative effort to promote cleaner beaches on Tybee Island. Thus, the Turtle-Friendly Takeout program was born.

With the inaugural launch this October, I have incredibly high hopes that the way to resolve one of the biggest issues facing the shores of this beloved island is through an enduring commitment of locals and tourists alike.
Military spouses are truly professional career chameleons.

What we do is not defined by title or position, but rather by our dedication to leaving “home” better than we found it.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Navigating a career through constant change requires an incredible amount of flexibility, creativity, and willingness to adapt.

At present, I’ve found myself on a steering committee, consulting on behalf of multiple Directors at the Islands YMCA branch, and interning with Ogeechee Riverkeepers on environmental justice work.

Defining success as a military spouse professional is best in a holistic sense as opposed to a linear scale. I am very much in the honeymoon phase of settling in, simply happy to find projects and people on the same path.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
What I’m most proud of is working toward the goal of living 1000 different lives- one chapter at a time.

I’ve been a formal elementary school teacher, planned and sourced hyper-local farm-to-table dinners, wrote professionally for top military magazines, homeschooled my lot of wild children, and more. What I’ll be next, or where I see myself in five years has far less to do with a particular aspiration, and far more to do with a happy sense of balance within the community I am a part of.

I believe that my willingness to try new things, paired with the ever-growing perspective of living in various communities has helped shape the way I look at work-life balance.

What do you like and dislike about the city?
Savannah and her surrounding island communities are the embodiment of the laid-back Lowcountry lifestyle. Neighbors take the time to know one another and the day’s pace may very well depend on tidal charts.

The chaos of our world easily gives way with a stroll through the charming and historic streets.

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