Heavenly Highlight~ Sammy Rizzuto

Sammy Rizzuto is a rising Senior, double majoring in physics and mechanical engineering. She is originally from New Jersey, but quickly fell in love with Auburn during a campus tour and has called Alabama home ever since!

Since she was moving so far away from home, she knew it would be important for her to meet people by getting involved in organizations both on and off campus. Her freshman year, she jumped into as many student organizations as she could, including the Alabama Gamma chapter of Pi Beta Phi, Leadership Small Groups, AU Rhythm, and Auburn Undergraduate Student Space Program. Sammy worked as a Resident Assistant and Supplemental Instructor on Auburn’s campus as well. As she learned to identify what she was truly passionate about, the organizations she chose to dedicate her time to changed. On campus, Sammy holds an undergraduate research position in the Physics Department and participates in Auburn’s CO-OP Program. She is a CO-OP student with Southern Nuclear where she serves as the Students of Southern Company Vice President. Sammy is also still involved with the Alabama Gamma chapter of Pi Beta Phi, and is serving as the Arrow Correspondent for our chapter. Additionally, she recently created a student organization, Students Against Human Trafficking. Sammy also competes in the Miss Alabama Organization and decided to make human trafficking her platform after being asked a question about the human trafficking problem in Alabama during an interview. Like so many others, Sammy thought human trafficking was only a reality in foreign nations, so she was surprised by the question and decided to learn more about the topic. What she found horrified her. As a survivor of rape and other sexual violence, she reflected on the helplessness she felt during the attacks and the healing process she went through afterwards. She realized that for her, it was just a few terrible moments in a blessed life, but for millions of women and children, repeatedly being raped is the only reality they know. This was her motivation for joining outside organizations including Redeem, a human trafficking outreach organization based out of Columbus Georgia, Shared Hope International, the Well House, and the Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force. These organizations equipped her with the tools she needed to educate the Auburn family about human trafficking related issues and connect students with outside organizations to join the fight to end human trafficking. Sammy feels she has been blessed to hold many leadership positions within the organizations in which she is involved. Currently, she is a Shared Hope International Ambassador, the University and College Chair on the Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force Committee, and the President of Students Against Human Trafficking. She is also the current Miss Trussville, and will be competing for the title of Miss Alabama this June. As a leader in different organizations, Sammy has learned a lot of practical skills such as organization skills, coordinating efforts between groups, and working well on a team. But the most important thing that she has learned is that you need to be passionate about the things to which you are dedicating your time. Her advice is: as college students, we are all extremely busy, so choose to get involved in an organization that does something or stands for something that you feel strongly about. It may not be the organization all your friends choose to join, or the one that you think companies are going to want to see on your resume, but if you follow your calling and believe what you are doing is purposeful and can make a difference you will find success and a sense of fulfillment from doing it. And, really that’s the point of getting involved. To learn what you love, pursue a passion, make a difference, and to find a group of people who are just as on fire about it as you are. If you are looking to get involved with Students Against Human Trafficking, Sammy would love to answer any questions you may have and to invite you to come to a meeting this fall. If you aren’t sure what you want to get involved with, but know you want to be involved, she thinks that’s great and would encourage you to attend an AU Involve Student Organization Fair, or to browse through the organizations available on AU Involve. Try anything and everything that sounds interesting to you. Some things will click, and others won’t, but you’ll learn a lot about yourself either way, and you may just discover your purpose like she did.