The Student Newspaper of Highline College

Samantha Sebring

Highline student paves way to success through leadership

Jonah Mizrahi Staff Reporter Jun 09, 2021

Samantha Sebring has worn more hats than most in her time as a student at Highline. 

She has been the community budget coordinator for the Center for Leadership and Service; chair of the Services and Activities Budget Committee; student representative to Highline’s Budget Advisory Council. 

She has served as a member of the CORE Leadership Team; received a Student Legacy Award; stayed a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society; and maintained her honor roll-qualifying GPA. 

The list goes on.  

Marta Reeves, program manager at the Center for Leadership and Service, took notice of Sebring right away. She’s watched her grow into her numerous roles from the time Sebring first applied at CLS in September of 2020. 

“She is the kind of student leader we love to see applying for a CLS leadership position,” Reeves said. “One that is a little uncertain what they are applying for, and then watching the wonderful growth she experiences as learns and performs.” 

As community budget coordinator, Sebring has worked closely with both the Associated Students of Highline College and the Budget Advisory Council, attending meetings, tracking expenditures, and assisting with administrative duties. 

“I am a one-person team, but that doesn’t mean I don’t interact with people every day,” Sebring said. “To put it in broad terms, my job is to provide administrative support and budget management.” 

Performing in this role, Sebring said, has taught her professional and administrative leadership. 

“Through this I have learned what it means to be organized and professional,” she said. “Getting the opportunity to be the community budget coordinator in CLS has provided me with many leadership opportunities that I have learned from and will take with me throughout my academic and professional career.”

As a member of the CORE Leadership Team, she has collaborated with faculty and other student leaders to create and promote community programs and events. Sebring hosted weekly team meetings, and worked with other members to build up and promote Highline’s community. 

“CORE has allowed me to be proud in sharing who I am with others,” Sebring said. “Working as a member on the CORE team has taught me how to build a community where we can uplift and support one another.” 

As chair of the Services and Activities Budget Committee, Sebring has overseen a student-led committee of six in its weekly review and deliberation of Highline’s program budgets. 

“As the Service and Activities budget chair, I maintain 63 co-curricular/extra-curricular program budgets at the college coming to a total of about 2.9 million dollars,” she said. 

In this role, Sebring said she and her team have had to make some tough decisions. 

Especially in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee has had to make significant budget cuts to some programs. She said that this experience, though not easy, has taught important lessons.

“While this was challenging, it allowed for deep reflection and I gained many valuable skills that I will use throughout my career,” Sebring said. 

Sebring has grown into each of these roles, and many more, in her time at Highline. She said she attributes her motivation and success to the people around her who have given her support.

“My family and community members motivated me to finish strong at Highline,” Sebring said. “They always gave encouraging words and insights and made sure I was on the right track to graduate. I am very grateful for these people in my life for pushing me to be successful.” 

Reeves, her supervisor at CLS, agreed that Sebring’s story is not only one of growth, but of great success. 

“She is driven to be successful, while still balancing school, student employment, friends and family,” Reeves said. “This is a Highline student success story on so many levels.” 

Sebring’s accomplished student career at Highline is coming to an end this quarter. She will be graduating this month with an Associate of Arts, her high school diploma, and several honors. 

But that doesn’t mean she’s slowing down — she’s only just getting started. 

Five years from now, Sebring said she hopes to see herself having earned a master’s degree and landed her dream job at a successful accounting firm. And today, it looks like she’s on the right track. 

“I got an internship this summer with Bank of America,” she said. “Out of over 200 people who applied they only accepted 10, so I am very excited for this opportunity to grow my passion and knowledge of accounting.”

After that, Sebring said she’ll be off to the University of Washington’s competitive Foster School of Business to pursue an accounting degree. Being an avid dancer of 15 years and having a desire to learn more about her Mexican heritage, she wants to minor in dance and ethnic studies. 

She said her time as a student and leader at Highline will carry forward through the next steps in her life. 

“I have definitely met a lot of amazing people that I know I will stay in contact with as I continue my journey outside of Highline — these people have taught me many valuable life skills along with how to build community and I know I will take this knowledge and apply it to my own life,” Sebring said. “I am very excited for this next chapter of my life and all of the opportunities I hope to obtain.”