Sam's story is one of both trial and triumph! She spent several years struggling through depression and social anxiety. She wasn't your typical teenage girl. She never really had many friends and just didn't participate in the social activities most teenage girls do. There were no sleepovers or slumber parties. Besides work and school, she was always at home.
Sam had attended public school through 5th grade and had received great grades until the last semester of grade school. She had struggled socially but had kept her grades up until that point. After much consideration, I chose to withdraw her from public school and try our hand at homeschooling. She did really well and completed middle school at home.
Sam is very bright and really enjoys learning. She wanted to go to high school because of the academic opportunities. She started her freshman year and within a couple of months began struggling emotionally. Her grades dropped and depression became a daily battle. There were times, I honestly thought we were going to lose her. She was able to get some relief from medication and made it through her freshman year. Sophmore year came and seemed even more difficult. The depression was worse and she faced other health issues. Somewhere in the midst of her battle, Sam learned she could graduate a year early if she took a couple summer classes and maintained good grades in the accelerated classess she was already taking. She signed up for summer school! Junior year came quickly but wasn't an easy year either. What kept her going was knowing that if she completed all her classes with passing grades, SHE COULD GRADUATE AS A JUNIOR!! She was always interested in college and looked forward to leaving behind the immature high school classmates in anticipation of meeting "intellectuals" in college.
Because Sam graduated as a Junior, we missed most of the Senior opportunities to visit colleges and apply for scolarships. Everything just happened so quickly! Needless to say, Sam was accepted at the three colleges she applied for. She chose Northern Illinois University. We applied for financial aid and she received a large portion of what she needed. What we had not planned for was her being denied for loans because she was only 17. Of course, I could normally co-sign for her but I lost my job the first week of July and didn't have a steady income. You might ask, "Why did you send her if you didn't have the means to pay the balance?" Well, we actually had someone step in and offer to pay the balance but after sending her in August, that fell through. So...why doesn't she just come home and go to the community college?
For the first time since 1st grade, Sam has a group of friends. She is happy, and medication free!!! She is getting great grades and has an opportunity for an intership next semester. I am working again and she will be 18 in June so future loans shouldn't be a problem.
As of today, we are in need of $5,100 to pay off this semester's balance. She can not register for next semester until it is paid and will be required to leave her dorm mid-December if we have an outstanding balance.
I appreciate any and all help you are able to offer in hopes of keeping my baby girl in school. Please join us in praying we are able to raise what we need and that God's will be done in Sam's life!
Thank you so much!
Angela (Sam's Mom)
- Kay Luna
- SECRET SANTA
- Tara Tollenaer
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