With a platform of “Let the Good Times Roll: Camp Promise,” Rogers High School sophomore Samantha Schubert walked away with the Teens in Action Award at the Miss Washington’s Outstanding Teen competition May 24 at the Highline Performing Arts Center in Burien.
The award, which came with a $250 scholarship, was based on Schubert’s platform, the number of hours served and amount of money she raised. Seven contestants are chosen for the finalist of Teens in Action Award.
“I was completely motivated and honored to be chosen and make it to the top seven,” Schubert said.
Samantha’s brother, Cole, who is 13, inspired the family’s efforts to start Camp Promise. Cole was diagnosed with Charcot Marie Tooth Disease, a hereditary neuropathy that slowly robs him of his ability to walk and use his hands.
“It is a hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy – the nerves do not supply muscles with enough energy and it kills the muscles,” explained Samantha’s mother, Beth Schubert.
Beth said that her family, along with the Jett Foundation, co-created Camp Promise in 2009 to provide all campers with the option to attend.
“We raised $19,000 in six weeks and started a camp,” Beth said.
Camp Promise started as a single camp in Western Washington and has grown to three camps nationwide, including Colorado and Pennsylvania.
The camp is six days long and each child has their own counselor who stays with them the entire week.
The camp’s mission is “to provide a barrier-free, weeklong overnight camp for kids, teens and adults with muscular dystrophy or select neuromuscular diseases, regardless of age, capability or ability to pay.”
“We have a huge nurse corps that watch after the campers and provide them with medications. We make sure we have good help to take care of these fragile campers,” Beth said.
When Samantha was 9 years old, she attended Cole’s occupational therapy appointments.
“A lady asked if we wanted to meet princesses and in the back room, and we met Miss Washington and Miss Washington’s Outstanding Teen contestants, and we were introduced to the program. I told my mom I wanted to do it by the time I was 13, the age to compete,” said Samantha, who will begin Running Start next year and plans to continue her education to become a pediatric occupational therapist.
“When I worked with my brother, it really inspired me,” Samantha said.
Samantha has always had a heart for helping others, working with the Susan G. Komen For the Cure and Autism Speaks foundations, Beth said.
Currently, Samantha is the National Youth Fundraising Chairperson for Camp Promise, and organizes all of the local fundraisers in Washington.
Samantha has served more than 4,000 hours in the community and raised more than $10,000, Beth said.
Twenty-five teens ages 13-17 came from all over the state to take part in Miss Washington’s Outstanding Teen pageant. They competed in four areas of competition: private interview/academics, lifestyle and fitness in active wear, talent and evening wear, and on-stage question and answer sessions.
The pageant winner was Abigail Dominguiano, a sophomore at Central Kitsap High School.
Samantha felt very proud to be chosen as one of the top seven Teens in Action.
“I did feel good about it. I believe this was one of the best years I’ve had in this program,” she said. “As I evolve in the program, I hope to add to my scholarship fund, and I’m excited for next year.”