samantha German '10
News anchor, Columbia , SC
Q. – What year did you graduate from Porter-Gaud?
A. – 2010
Q. – Where are you working and what is your current job title?
A. – I am an evening news anchor for WACH FOX News in Columbia, SC. I solo anchor the 5 p.m. newscast and I co-anchor the 10 p.m. newscast every weeknight.
Q. – How did PG impact you in college and in your professional career?
A. – The twelve years I attended Porter-Gaud have had a monumental impact not only during my four years at The University of Georgia, but also in my professional career as well. Our school, truly, set an undeniable foundation for my life. From years of having to participate in Poetry Out Loud, to countless presentations in front of my peers at the front of classrooms, to even traveling to Rome and Florence, Italy for two weeks to study ancient history with Dr. Mac – Porter-Gaud prepared me to see the world and to be confident in it. I’ll never forget in one of my freshmen classes at Georgia, we had to watch the same video Ms. Day showed our senior class the year before. It was almost the same lesson. True story! I always felt incredibly prepared and in certain situations, sometimes, even ahead of the class in a few of my college courses. I had my first journalism project at Porter-Gaud. My senior year in high school, Mrs. Reinhold gave us an assignment where we had to go to a homeless shelter, interview someone living there and then write an essay about what they said. This lit a spark inside of me! This was the moment when I knew I had found my passion for storytelling.
Q. – As a black person from Charleston, what does your heritage/culture mean to you?
A. – Everything! The older I get, the more I appreciate our rich history and culture. I am constantly learning and in awe of our complicated, many times devastating, yet still so resilient and beautiful history of my Black people. We have been through so much as a race and have handled situations designed to break us with grace and a strong faith. My ancestors have helped build and shape this country. When I see the intricate designs of sweetgrass baskets at some stands along the roads in Mt. Pleasant or the stunning black iron gates that adorn and welcome homeowners to their front doors at some of the most historic homes in downtown Charleston, I feel an immense amount of great pride and a sense of connectedness. I am so proud when someone asks me where I am from and I get to say Charleston, SC! Sometimes that’s followed up with, ‘Oh, so you know Gullah/Geechee?’ The answer is always a boastful, ‘Yes, I do!’
Q. – What advice would you give to a current student at Porter-Gaud?
A. – Stay true to yourself and be nice to people! This world is small and some bridges may have to be crossed again. Also, if you have a dream or great idea – go for it! You have everything inside of you to bring that dream or goal to fruition. I believe nothing just happens by chance.
Q. – Is there anything else you'd like to share about yourself, your career, your family, your PG experience, or your life today?
A. – Yes, the summer of 2020. The murder of George Floyd was a pivotal point in my life, and I like to believe it was a turning point in our country. I have never been so angry, hurt and just wide open with so many raw emotions. The amount of time it took for the men in police uniforms to be arrested and charged was the first time I felt like my life didn’t matter and that I didn’t belong. The bubble, where I lived my entire life, had popped. I was forced to confront feelings I had never felt before. I had in-depth conversations with life-long friends, who at the time didn’t know what to say. I leaned on my family for encouragement and leaned on my faith for strength. But, in the midst of heartbreak and confusion, moments of hope were sprinkled in. A small group of PG alumni wrote a letter to the school demanding for a change on campus. Hundreds of alumni signed the letter to show their support in wanting to make the school more diverse and more inclusive. So many alums spoke their minds, their truth and were bold enough to take a stand for what they believed was right. School leaders listened. I am currently on the Porter Gaud Alumni Association board and have a firsthand account of true, hard work being done at the school. Concerns, brought up in the letter sent out by alumni, are being addressed and well-thought-out plans of equity in the school community are starting to be put in place. This is the Porter-Gaud I am proud of. This is the Porter -Gaud I love.