Surviving Against All Odds

Louis Zamperini American Samoa.jpeg

The Louis Zamperini Foundation received this letter from a deservingly “proud” mama from American Samoa, whose 10 year old son Richard insisted upon telling Louis’ story of ‘Surviving Against All Odds’ for National History Day.  Even though his mom tried to dissuade him, he knew the power of Louis’ story was worth pushing for!   Louis would be so deeply impressed with this young mans tenacity! Thanks for sharing this with the LZF as we continue to shine a light on the powerful effects of Louis’ story on todays youth!


Hello and Talofa,

I wanted to share this with you all. My son, Richard Mamea (10) and his partner Renee Dunson (11) will be representing our island of American Samoa next week in the National History Day. They are among 10 other students both from senior and junior division. The title of their project is Louis Zamperini: Surviving against all odds. To be honest. I never saw the movie nor heard about Louis until our pastor was talking about him in one of his sermon. Little did I know, my son was listening and was inspired by his story.

When I approached my son a month later and asked if he had a history project ready, he said he was researching Zamperini. I discouraged him and said pick another topic, because I thought it wasn't a topic people knew. A month later, my son was not budging with his topic  and I asked him what was so special about him and was was his triumph in life. I was blown away when my 10 year old, told me all these things he overcame, but said his biggest triumph was giving his life to Jesus Christ.

I was ashamed of myself, and thankful my son stuck it out with his topic and didn't listen to me. He and his partner won first place on their category against 26 other entries. They also placed 3rd and will now be traveling to Maryland. Thank you Jesus! Thank you for all you do, and continuing what Louis Zamperini started with the youth. God bless.