As a freshman at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, Victory Sampson knew one thing—he wanted to go to college without adding a financial burden to his family.
“I began a plan,” Sampson says. “I asked myself, ‘What can I push myself in, what can I participate in, what are all the activities that I can do that, along with my grades, my college application can really stand on?’ So, I participated in 14 extracurricular activities.”
How did he decide which activities to do? “I just did everything.” How did he do it all? “Extreme timemanagement skills,” he laughs.
Sampson was predominantly involved in Speech and Debate—a three-time National qualifier and four-time State qualifier. “I love Speech and Debate. I was on the Speech side, and I did Dramatic Interpretation, Poetic Interpretation—that was my main thing,” he says.
In addition to his involvement with Speech and Debate, Sampson also served as a Senior Officer in the Black Student Union and was involved in Cathedral’s Embrace organization, which works to promote a more diverse and equitable campus.
The plan that Sampson initiated his first year of high school didn’t stop at school clubs and activities. He also began reaching out to college admission representatives to discuss environments, possible majors, and just about everything else that goes along with a college experience.
Because he wanted to stay close to Indianapolis, his home for most of his life, Sampson’s visits to Butler’s campus quickly placed it high on his wish list of potential schools. “I really liked the culture—the Dawgs helping Dawgs, the vibrant campus, and the amazing community.” What mattered now was funding.
A surprise visit to Cathedral by Butler Blue IV in February 2022 let Sampson know that the plan he had worked so hard to fulfill over the previous four years had reached a successful conclusion. He was to be awarded the Tuition Guarantee award, Butler’s full-tuition scholarship for Marion County students with financial need who have demonstrated a solid academic record as well as participation in extracurricular activities and community service projects. Sampson says that the financial aid that Butler was able to offer allowed him to meet his first priority of helping his family.
When asked about his transition from high school to college, Sampson says, “It was a lot. You know, it’s ‘adulting.’ My first-year experience started off with the Dawg Days preorientation program which really helped me find community right off the bat…as a person of color I really felt like I found my tribe.” Paying it forward, Sampson became a Dawg Days mentor this year, helping members of the new entering class find their community, too.
Sampson knew early on in his college search that he wanted to major in something to do with communications, so his choice of Strategic Communication: Public Relations and Advertising was a clear one. What he was surprised by, however, was that he could add a second major in Multilingual. “I had a love of learning languages before I even came to campus,” he says. Already comfortable with Spanish, Sampson plans to add French and German before graduating.
As a result of quite a few dual-credit courses earned in high school, Sampson, although technically in his sophomore year, is on track to graduate in 2025 and plans to then pursue a doctorate in counseling psychology. “I would like to become a mental health therapist. When people hear that, they think ‘Oh, your undergraduate and your graduate may not line up.’ But I think that multicultural and multilingual backgrounds are lacking in the therapy realm; There’s a lot of research about multilingual and multicultural therapies,” he says. “I want to make that part of my research interest when I do get into a doctoral program. I’m pretty dedicated to doing that.
“I’ll probably take a little break in between, though,” he adds. “I’ve been working a lot.”