Samantha Contreras attended Santa Monica Community College and worked as a community organizer to fight for the human and civil rights of immigrants and refugees in Los Angeles with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA). As a youth organizer, she helped hundreds of students who were struggling to achieve their dreams of higher education and gave them the skills to be their own advocates and leaders in their community. She also served as the California Statewide Grassroots Organizer for the Reform Immigration for America campaign working to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2010.