Sam Tompkins founded Another Way Out, Inc. (AWO) in 1992. It began with 2 boys looking for odd jobs in the community and noticed they needed help with their education and self-esteem. Sam solicited his friends to become mentors. The activities Sam and his friends provided for the young men grew into a mentoring program created to motivate youth ages 8 to 18 to stay in school, resist negative peer pressure, avoid teen parenthood, drugs, violence and other limiting behaviors. The organization continued to grow, providing youth with programs that will lead them into becoming productive citizens, and exposing them to positive opportunities and life experiences.
Sam Tompkins grew up in a small town in rural Virginia and later graduated from Norfolk State University with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Education with a specialization in auto-mechanics. Upon graduation, Sam entered the United States Army as a 2nd Lieutenant. After 20 years of service, he retired as a Major. The majority of his military career was spent in the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit (EOD) during which he was responsible for protecting the President of the United States, Vice President, and other U.S. officials and dignitaries. Sam was also in charge of several details, which provided protection for Reverend Jesse Jackson during his run for Presidential office.
In 1985 when the army transferred him to the city, Sam established the Atlanta branch of Wood & Tompkins Cores, Inc., a multi-million dollar business that recycled automotive cores. Wood & Tompkins was the largest minority owned core supplier in the United States.
With drag racing as his first love, Tompkins founded Tompkins Motorsports in 1998. In 1999, Sam began to professionally race in the Pro Stock Truck Division of NHRA. He reached top speeds of 176 mph, with an ET of 7.7 seconds.
Sam has a wife, Rhonda, two daughters, and 3 grandchildren.
Samuel Tompkins, Founder of Another Way Out, Inc.