Samantha was born and raised in the border town of Eagle Pass, Texas. In high school she had the opportunity to serve her community and mentor elementary school students through various extracurricular activities. Samantha moved to Austin in 2012 to attend the University of Texas at Austin. She received a Bachelor of Science and Arts in Human Development and Family Sciences in 2016.
Originally pre-med, Samantha found a passion for helping underserved populations through non-profit work. Samantha began leading after-school enrichment classes for at-risk youth at the Boys & Girls Club as a Youth Development Professional. She was then promoted to Education Director, where she used family interviews, teacher reports, and community resources to create individualized plans designed to help students succeed in and out of the classroom. Samantha gained more nonprofit experience working in the Early Childhood Intervention program at Easterseals of Central Texas. As a Bilingual Early Intervention Specialist, she served children 0-3 years old with developmental delays by educating and coaching parents and family members to use therapeutic strategies in their daily routines to help their children reach developmental milestones. Samantha comes to Friends of the Children with experience with at-risk youth and families experiencing poverty, case management, and child development. She believes it is crucial to give youth a space where they feel safe to express themselves and teach them healthy self-regulating strategies. Samantha is excited for the opportunity to be a Friend and help today’s youth succeed and reach their full potential.