Sam DemmaEnvironmental Activist & Professional Speaker
Sam is a 19-year-old professional speaker, avid reader and co-founder of the social enterprise, PickWaste. Born in Scarborough and raised in Pickering Sam's whole life I was spent chasing a dream to play professional soccer until the age of 17 when he underwent two knee surgeries that took him out of the sport. This led to his early mid-life/identity crisis because soccer was all he knew. Luckily for Sam, with the wisdom of his grade 12 world issues teacher he was able to reconstruct his life and become a source of inspiration and empowerment for others. He strives to spread a simple but powerful message, that small consistent actions will lead to massive changes. He chose Environmental activism as his current entrepreneurial profession because he understands how our health as a species is tied to the health of our surroundings. He speaks because he understands that education is the greatest weapon against exploitation, and empowering young people to make there own informed decisions is something that he believes can change this world. Sam has been acknowledged for being one of the top 25 under 25 environmentalists in Canada and has secured speaking opportunities at TEDx Talk, and TEDxYouth Talk.
Sam's education is an endless pursuit of knowledge saying " I think Socrates said it best by saying I know that I know nothing, because once you think you're done learning you will stop growing." He is currently completing his undergraduate degree in Political Science and Environmental Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC). He is also involved in an advanced Toastmasters club, which has helped him to become a more efficient communicator. Sam is also an avid reader and he strongly believes that the value of reading should not be lost, he tries to implement unique techniques that he reads about in his daily life.
There were rough times absolutely for Sam when we first started PickWaste, both he and his business partner Dillon had no support from their friends. They would be out there cleaning up on a Saturday morning by themselves. But, the reason why they continued taking those small consistent actions was because they were truly passionate about what they were doing! He believes that in todays generation people are always doing things for instant gratification and recognition. You need to be extremely honest with yourself before embarking upon a heroes journey, because if you're genuinely passionate about it you will not fold when times are tough.
Some advice that Sam would share is to embrace new opportunities and experiences, because the more experiences you have the more relatable you become to others, and the more relatable you become, the more people will want to be around you, listen to you, and learn from you. Go chase as many experiences as you can before your life gets filled with responsibilities.
Words of Wisdom:
"The person with the most experiences wins"