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Sam has big dreams for his future and believes you should, too.

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You Can Be ABCs

Memphis’ Sam White Empowers Kids and Adults to Dream Big

When Memphis’ Sam White turned six, he created the “You Can Be ABC’s” rap with his father, Bobby. The rap rattles off different careers from A-Z, varying in titles from firefighter to intelligence officer and quantum physicist. Whether it’s “B” as in “biochemist or “C” as in computer software developer, Sam encourages kids to realize their fullest potential. The world discovered Sam’s talent, creativity and infectious optimism overnight. As the father-son YouTube video reached millions of views (currently 3.6 million and counting) Sam’s positive message caught the attention of Ellen DeGeneres. 

Sam’s passion for learning, helping others and reading were evident at a very early age. His mother, Stephanie, fosters these skills and continues to show Sam the power words can bring to life as well as the positive impact he can have on Memphis and surrounding communities. “I knew he was going to be a true force to be reckoned with when he started writing his songs at 3, creating his comic books/strips around 4 and drawing a design before building at age 5,” Stephanie said. 

Just a month after the video went viral, Sam and his father were guests on The Ellen Show, where they discussed the process of coming up with the “You Can Be” rap. Sam was surprised as the video gained significant traction because he was simply having fun. “I was really excited when Ms. Michelle Obama said something about it. That means President Obama probably saw it,” Sam reflects.

On The Ellen Show, Sam recalls feeling comfortable talking to the host. “I liked meeting Ellen because she was so nice and knew how to relate to kids. It was neat when I went the first couple of times, but the last time I went, she talked about the book my dad and I wrote. And I got to be on the stage all by myself with Ms. Ellen. I am quite the conversationalist,” he said. 

Accompanied by fun illustrations on each page, the “You Can Be ABC’s” rap is now a children’s picture book aptly titled You Can Be ABCs. What originally started as a YouTube video in their kitchen was selected as the book for July by Imagination Library, the book club for kids created by Dolly Parton which will send Sam’s book to kids worldwide. 

As for his own career, Sam plans on becoming an architect. He also likes the idea of hosting his own talk show one day, just like Ellen. “I want to be an architect so I can build fancy houses for homeless people because they don’t get to have nice stuff. So, I want to build homes so they can experience luxury,” Sam said. He would also meet these goals of giving back to the community on his talk show. Sam’s idea for his show is to invite guests for interesting conversation, then play a game that ends in a prize that would help them meet their needs. Although Sam imagines two different paths for his life, it’s clear that his future - either as an architect, a talk show host or even both - will include building relationships and benefiting the greater good. 

Sam’s love for reading and rapping share a common foundation: they both make him happy. “Rapping makes me happy because people move and dance. I like to see people smile. People are nice to each other when they are happy,” he says. And when he reads, Sam sees new worlds and imagines things to put into his writing. “I love intense plots.”  

For kids who may not know their future or where they want to go, Sam leaves us all, even adults, with a universal piece of advice: “You can be whatever you want to be when you grow up, and adults can find new jobs too, if they don’t like what they do. They just have to see what interests them.”  Like Sam, perhaps we can all embrace hope and recognize that the possibilities in life are limitless. 

“I knew he was going to be a true force to be reckoned with when he started writing his songs at 3, creating his comic books/strips around 4, and drawing a design before building at age 5." - Stephanie White, Sam's mother

  • Sam's rapping video with his dad, Bobby, went viral and everything changed.
  • Sam has always been a fantastic reader and writer and is currently learning to play the piano.
  • Sam's mother, Stephanie, supports Sam every step of the way.
  • Sam's book is a July selection for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.
  • Father and son, Bobby and Sam White, bring positivity and energy to their videos and in person.
  • Sam has big dreams for his future and believes you should, too.