Family Wants Daughter to Draw Cartoons!

Student Success Story

by Jenny Faubert

Samantha Mitchell

How many of you remember the utter joy of Saturday morning cartoons? Don't deny it, I know you do! Bowl of cereal in hand, sitting inches away from the television because you didn't want to miss the Road Runner drop an anvil on Wile E. Coyote. It's okay. You can smile. Samantha Mitchell, a Digital Animation student at Missouri College and recipient of the 2007 Imagine America Promise scholarship, could be the creator of cartoons like these in the near future.

As a little girl, Samantha would grab a napkin or any piece of white paper lying around to doodle on. "In fact, I still do!" Samantha said, smiling.

Samantha Mitchell drawing
Original art by Samantha Mitchell.
Originally her artistic interest was in realistic drawings. Soon she realized her true talent was in cartooning. Combinations of the two make up one of her favorite animated movies, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? "I was fascinated with the mixture of human and cartoon," said Samantha.

A supportive family, such as Samantha’s, motivates students to succeed in school and life. Samantha’s mom and grandma drive her 100 miles (one way) twice a week to attend Missouri College in St. Louis, Mo. If there's bad weather on the way, they leave the night before so Samantha will not miss her classes.

"My mom and grandma are very supportive," said Samantha. "They push me to get my homework done and reward me for getting good grades." Her family is so excited that she is pursuing higher education (she’s the first in her family), doing well and doing something she truly loves.

With a helping hand from mom, Samantha found Missouri College. The hands-on teaching and the fact that you can get a bachelor's degree faster than a traditional college were some of the selling points. But Samantha particularly liked the fact that once you graduate, you can take refresher courses – a huge asset to anyone in the computer-related field, because technology is always changing. And with the growing opportunities available in digital animation, the high job placement rates at Missouri College also made an impact on Samantha.

"They don't say, 'Hey, here's your degree, good luck.' They actually help you look for a job," said Samantha.

"Samantha has great artistic abilities and is very passionate about her field," said Tony Thompson, Admissions Representative, Missouri College. "The fact that she travels 100 miles (one way) twice a week and has only missed one day due to bad weather shows great determination and responsibility on her part."

Samantha Mitchell drawing2 Missouri College's nomination of Samantha, along with her 4.0 GPA and nearly 100% attendance rate, led the Foundation to award Samantha the 2007 Imagine America Promise scholarship.

"This award will help me very much," Samantha said, who is splitting the cost of tuition with her mom.

"Samantha is a very talented artist, which will take her a long way in her chosen field of Digital Animation," said Neil Mey, Instructor, Missouri College.

We agree. With so much family support, dedication and passion, there’s no doubt Samantha will continue to succeed.

If you know an exceptional Imagine America scholarship recipient and would like to share their success story with us, send us an e-mail at: IANewsletter@imagine-america.org.