Dr. Topeka K Sam Biography
Majority of people dread prison. The condition, fellow inmates, and the reputation of prisons keep people abiding by the law. However, prison can be transforming as any other event in a person’s life. It can be a person’s gateway to their mission in this life. That was the case of Dr. Topeka K Sam. She served in jail for three years. After her release, she was a different person. She came out with zeal, passion, and fire of making society a better place, especially for women. Topeka founded and co-founded several organizations all of which help her in fulfilling her mission. Her story has been featured on Vogue, CNN, SALONTV, New York Times, and #thecut 50.
Dr. Topeka K. Sam is the founder and CEO of Ladies of Hope Ministries which focuses on helping marginalized women and offering smooth transition for girls and women who have served in prison. She is also the co-founder of Hope House. Through the organizations she heads, Sam hopes to bring the true condition of prisons to the public the issues women, especially women of color, face while in prison and post-incarceration.
Dr. Topeka K Sam Age, Family
She was born on 6th March and raised on Long Island. Her background was well off since her parents were business owners. Her, father, Augustus Sam Jr., however, passed on in 2020. As a child, she had a passion for music and dancing which led her to learn piano. Sam chose the wrong path that led her to prison. However, she came out changed and ambitious. Now grown up, the 40s-year-old has prioritized her mission over having a husband or her own family.
Dr. Topeka K Sam Conviction and Pardon
Before she went to prison, Sam was a law-abiding citizen. She went to Morgan State University in Baltimore. In 2007, she founded a personal concierge company called TKSNYC-The Agency. Topek later added another company called The iCase Place, a company that provided customers with mobile phone cases. Running these businesses stopped after she found herself on the wrong side of the law. In 2012, she was arrested and charged with drug conspiracy. A habit she had learned from guys she loved spending time with while on Campus. On January 11th, 2013, Judge Henry Hang Em High Hudson sent Sam to 130 months in Federal Prison. The judge labeled her a drug queen and sentenced her to three years in Prison.
Sam saw harrowing experiences while in prison. The conditions were unhygienic, leading to poor health for the inmates. Some women gave birth in shackles and others were addicted to drugs. Topeka also learned of the rising number of women entering prison. While in incarceration, she made it her ambition to change these women’s lifestyles and to display to the public the conditions of the prison. Judge Hudson extended his mercy to Sam and reduced her sentence to 65 months. On 5th May 2015, Sam was released from Prison.
Dr. Topeka K Sam Ladies of Hope Ministries
After her release, she founded The Ladies of Hope Ministries whose mission is to support women and girls negatively affected by the criminal legal system. She realized that most Prisons in the United States did not provide healing and rehabilitation privileges. Instead, they made it worse for women as some were victims of unstable mental health, depression, and trauma. The ministry also aimed at helping women to adjust to society through education, spiritual empowerment, and entrepreneurship. Together with Vanne Sykes, they started another organization called Hope House NYC where they provided a safe space for women who had been incarcerated.
Since coming out of prison, Sam has become an influential figure in the United States. She has been a highly sought-after speaker invited to events to address issues happening in society. She became the director for #thecut, a criminal justice organization owned by Van Jones. Topeka worked with the organization to restore the lives of Incarcerated women. She was also the Host of The Topeka K Sam Show aired on SiriusXM Urban View Channel. Her story has been featured on CNN, Black Enterprise, The Today Show, Vice, New York Times, and Rolling Stone. Sam has had the opportunity to speak at the White House Prison Reform Summit, TEDx, and Women in the World Conference.
She continues to tirelessly work to advocate for incarcerated women and girls. On May 2022, Google honored her with the Social Impact Award for her work. Google also provided Sam with $100,000 to pay her employees and work in Trinidad. When asked about her worth, Sam said she wanted to be a billionaire or a trillionaire.