Student Stories



With her innocent and open spirit you would never suspect Samantha came from such a volatile upbringing. Her mom was in and out of prison, so Samantha lived wherever she could find a bed. One minute her grandma had custody, the next minute her controlling mom lured her back to a dreadful existence. Sometimes she would find room at her dad’s, but that never lasted long either. Incredibly, she’s made peace with her past and says that she loves her mom.

Samantha’s rocky home life forced her to attend at least fifteen different schools. As time went on, she fell behind and basically gave up. During her freshman year of high school, she spent two months in juvenile detention for skipping school. She was depressed from struggling with her personal life. She had no money and no one to talk to. When Samantha realized she was seventeen and still a freshman, she decided she did not want to live like that anymore. She wanted to change and needed a school that would help her catch up. San Antonio Can High School was the only school that would help, and the only one that seemed to care. Samantha’s grandmother wanted her to just get her GED, but Samantha wanted a real high school diploma. It was going to take her an hour each way to get to this new school, but she was up for the challenge. Samantha wanted to learn and to be the first in her family to get a diploma, so she enrolled at San Antonio Can High School.

Samantha focused completely on graduating. Her boyfriend, who was valedictorian of his class, inspired her. “The teachers and advisors at San Antonio Can High School encouraged me and challenged me. They didn’t just want us to memorize facts, they wanted us to think things through. I felt like I finally belonged,” she said, with a spark in her eyes. Samantha is quickly making up two years of lost time and will graduate at nineteen.

Samantha lives alone and works to support herself. She has a summer job at Texas State Hospital, where her grandpa worked, which she is really excited about. Samantha lives a full life, despite the lonely times. Her puppy and her books keep her company. She loves reading, she’s writing her autobiography and she taught herself to play the guitar and the violin. Music helps her express her thoughts and feelings.

Samantha thought about pursuing music for a while after she graduates. But when she realized that raw talent dictates real success, she decided to keep it as her hobby. Her natural curiosity and fascination with the mind then led her to psychology. Samantha is fascinated by the fact that every human being has an unlimited capacity to learn. She said, “I want to whistle every day on my way to work and travel the world before I die.” No doubt she will do just that.


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