In 2004 Sammy graduated with Presidential honors from Gateway Technical College-Racine as the District and College Ambassador representing 450,000 students in Wisconsin. Sammy graduated from Carthage College with a Bachelors of Social Work Degree with a minor in Psychology, Cum Laude, in 2008. On September 13, 2009 Sammy graduated with a Master of Social Work Degree, Summa Cum Laude, with a mental health focus, from Loyola University-Chicago. He was also awarded An Excellence In Service Award by the school at graduation. Most recently October 19, 2009, Ren Svanoe Youth Leadership Award by the Wisconsin Association for Homeless and Runaway Services in recognition of outstanding dedication working with youth and families over the last ten years.
In February 2008, Racine Interfaith Coalition recognized Sammy and his wife Denise, for promoting peace in the community. In 2006, Sammy received the Martin Luther King Award from UW-Parkside for his Community Service in Racine. Sammy, in 2005, was awarded the Hispanic Unsung Hero Award from the Martin Luther King Center in Racine for his work in the community. Sammy has been repeatedly asked to speak at multiple Black History Month events including for the NAACP and at the Sturtevant DOC site. Mr. Rangel also worked at the Racine County Jail from 2004 through 2008 as a Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor helping men and women with addictive and criminal lifestyles. In addition to his work with youth he also provides mental health treatment as Racine Psychological Services with patient who are chronically mentally ill and/or dual diagnosed.
Sammy is an adjunct teacher for MATC, Gateway Technical College, and for the Department of Transportation. Sammy contributes to the community by sitting on various committees that address race, homelessness, crime, gang activity or drug abuse issues among our youth and adults. Sammy has furthered his credibility by overcoming the grips of addiction, and recovering from a street life of Chicago area gangs, violence and prison. It is worthy of note to mention that Sammy has accomplished all the aforementioned within ten years of being released from the Department of Corrections November 11, 1999, after serving more than 15 ½ years through his juvenile and adult years. Sammy lived out the majority of his preadolescent years as a victim of daily and ongoing childhood physical and sexual abuse. At the age of 11, Sammy set out on his own and lived out the rest of his juvenile life as homeless, throwaway child who very quickly encountered drugs, crime, sex, and violence on the street, just like at home. Eventually, Sammy made a lifestyle of the street life including gangs, crime, drugs, and institutions. Sammy considers his most crucial role in the community as raising a family of four girls and enjoys being married to a wonderful woman, all of whom have actively participated and supported Sammy through his career and education. As his wife so aptly stated… “The scary thing about Sammy is that despite all that he has accomplished in a very short period of time…He’s just getting started.”