My name is Samantha and I am 18 years old. I came to the Village Network in Uhrichsville when I was 17 and very angry at the world. I was traumatized with what happened with my parents. I was taken from my home where I lived with my father and step-mother and was then put in foster care because of a domestic violence case. I witnessed a lot of domestic violence throughout my life including my dad strangling my step-mom, my step-mom jumping out of a window and much more. On top of all of the trauma, I have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These diagnoses have been challenging but I have come a long way from where I started. When I was removed from my home, I was put into foster care through The Village Network with Dan and Mary, my foster parents for one month. Dan and Mary were very welcoming and took me in after everything that happened. I still see them at church.
Then, I moved into the Chance Given Group Home after one month with The Village Network. My time at the group home and with The Village Network has taught me a lot of things that I was not able to see when I was living with my parents. It opened up my eyes and led me to be a better person. While living at the group home, I went to PH Group, a group for all of the Chance Given girls and individual therapy at the Uhrichsville location.
Then, in May 2016, the Chance Given Group Home shut down and I had no idea where I would end up. My therapist, Alyssa, and I began to work together to come up with a plan, even though I was just meeting her. Because I was graduating high school and was now 18, I was not allowed to stay in foster care. Thanks to The Village Network, however, I found a place to call home for a little while. Erin and DJ (Foster Parents of The Village Network) took me in when I had nowhere else to go and allowed me to stay with them until I was able to move into my adult foster care home through the Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities after living with my foster parents for
about two months.
Today, I live in a stable home and am currently a college student/ athlete at Kent State University, Tuscarawas. I graduated from Indian Valley High School and Buckeye Career Center in the graphic arts field this past May with a 3.5 GPA. Being at The Village Network has helped me so much throughout my journey and gives me more hope than I ever had in my whole life. I am so thankful for everyone at The Village Network who has taken me in and helped me out to make it possible for me to do all of the things I am doing now. If it weren’t for everyone’s help, these dreams that I had may have never come true.