2013 Tillman Scholar
A Brooklyn native, Sgt. Samuel Innocent joined the military in March 2004 as a path to pursue higher education. He enlisted as a combat medic and not long after shipped off to Fort Benning, Georgia. But it wasn’t until his tour to Afghanistan, where he witnessed both the need for cutting-edge medical care in combat theater and the full lack of healthcare in the developing world, that he discovered a deep desire to serve and care for others. It was this passion that pushed him to re-enlist twice and serve seven years in the U.S. Army as a medic.
After returning home from Afghanistan, Innocent took on a new challenge as a soldier by day and student by night, obtaining his associate degree in science from Jefferson Community College and eventually earning admission to the City College of New York (CCNY) where he graduated with a degree in political science. Now, as a veteran specialist for a workforce development company, Sam collaborates with government agencies to develop workforce programs. He is a passionate advocate for quality education, jobs and affordable healthcare in low-income neighborhoods like his own in Brooklyn.
In April of 2015, Sam was appointed by the Mayor of New York to be one 1 of 11 members of the veterans advisory board for New York City. He now sits as the Vice-Chair of the board and has played a role in several legislative successes for veterans of New York City this past year.