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In Sam’s Words

Portland Adventist Academy recently welcomed Sam Vigil Jr., Certified Fund Raising Executive, as the school’s new development director. Before the news was announced, we asked Sam to share a bit more about his purpose as a fund raising executive and what led him to PAA.


PAA:  What brings you to Portland Adventist Academy?

Sam:  Several things attracted me to PAA.  First of all, the Christ-centered mission of transforming the lives of young people to be followers of Jesus Christ.

I think that in each of us is the desire to have an impact in the world. That’s something that we can nurture and grow in young people at PAA who serve Jesus Christ.

Then it becomes a ripple effect. Transforming the life of one young person who then influences one or two others, and so on, just compounds the influence we have here at PAA. That’s an exciting prospect.

Another thing that struck me was the open and honest conversations I had with Principal Mechelle Peinado during the interview process. Openness and honesty are things I value and are key to developing trust in personal relationships as well as when cultivating relationships with donors.

The passion and commitment of PAA’s faculty and staff I’ve met have really impressed me. They’re top notch.

And finally, the opportunity to share PAA’s exciting vision and mission with others and invite them to participate in that vision and mission.

PAA: Our motto is Christ-Centered, Character-Driven. What does it mean to live a Christ-centered and character-driven life?

Sam: What this means to me is that who I am and how I choose to live my life starts with my identity as a follower of Jesus Christ. And everything flows from that center. I appreciate that one of PAA’s core values is “integrity,” which is a value I try to bring to all aspects of my life, and is especially important in the work of philanthropy.

I also appreciate that PAA values grace and recognizes that we are all works-in-progress and valued sons and daughters of God.

PAA: How do you hope to bring the Christ-Centered, Character-Driven ideal to the work you do for PAA students?

Sam: I hope that “Christ-Centered, Character-Driven” will be modeled in how I relate to others, how I do my work, and the choices I make. In life we’re often faced with tough choices – and those choices are not always black or white, good or bad, but better and best – and I hope that I can model my work and life making those choices based on being grounded as a follower of Jesus Christ.

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