| ||Meet Samantha: |
Samantha is a young mother of a beautiful 8-month old baby girl, Jada. Jada’s life will take a different trajectory because of the choices Samantha made just a few months before she was born. She grew up in Wenatchee, WA, where she admits to struggling with a troubled childhood. From the age of 13, she got into drugs and was in trouble with the law for the next several years, eventually skipping 9th grade. During this time, Samantha had a reputation with the juvenile detention system, tried an alternative high school, dropped out, and wound up pregnant in an abusive relationship. The intense abuse caused her to miscarry during her eighth month of pregnancy. Samantha was only 16.
After a few years, Samantha moved to Tacoma in 2009 to be closer to family. She decided to start her own family with a new boyfriend. Unfortunately, during her 4th month of pregnancy, she found herself single, expecting a baby, and without a high school diploma. Samantha decided it was time to pursue an education. Her last school experience was at the alternative high school she attended in Wenatchee, but Samantha did not always enjoy school. After DSHS referred Samantha to Tacoma Community House, she realized that not all classrooms are the same. In fact, the atmosphere at TCH got her hooked on learning and kept her coming to class. Throughout the summer of 2009, Samantha continued to learn and enjoy her lessons. Her teachers at TCH were straight-forward, hands-on, and took the time to understand her needs. It was this learning environment that kept her motivated and helped her look forward to school. She left after Summer Quarter to have Jada in October of 2009.
During 2010, Samantha decided her refresher classes at TCH were enough, and felt ready to take her GED test. She enrolled in Bates Technical College’s GED prep program, where she excelled in all her practice tests. In May, Samantha took and passed the GED test and received her GED certificate. But Samantha is not ready to stop her education just yet. She is interested in the natural world and plans to take the Compass test and enter Bates Technical College in June, with eventual plans to major in geology. Her message to future adult students? “If you are passionate about something, don’t let the need for further education stop you. Don’t stop yourself from succeeding!”