Samantha's Survival, & Retraining

Samantha Bartilson is a trans woman with a big spirit who in her “spare” time contributes to the community by using her personal experience and empathy to mentor other transgender people who are just starting their journeys. She also attended the ACLU of Ohio’s Advocacy University for Transgender Individuals. This series of seminars trained her how to use her voice to advocate on behalf of herself, and her community. 32124742_1536721879350061_r.jpeg

She has also been the subject of an award winning photojournalism project about trans identity called TransAkron. She is a musician, singer, and a loving and beloved daughter and parent.
Samantha works 10+ hours a day, but being salaried can still barely manage to make ends meet. She has never been one to call off of work, and unless physically unable to work, she has powered through injury and illness all through her adult life.

After working extremely long days, weeks, months, and years at the same job for decades, Samantha found herself in crisis both unable to afford payments on her modest truck and unable to get to work without transportation. For now she is making do with a car decades old and not the most reliable.
She is also about to lose her health insurance.

Being trans in a world filled with disregard, contempt, fear and hate for people who are trans takes a terrible toll on people like Samantha who are brave enough to live and be themselves. As a person struggling with depression, anxiety and ADHD, she knows she needs employment that will cover the medications that keep her alive, as well as ongoing blood work and hormones not covered by insurance in her state.
Her glasses are more than a decade out of date. The last pair of trial contacts she had, she wore for 2 years instead of the one month that they were intended for. Her teeth are a source of discomfort she can not address at present. She has at least one cracked molar as a result of decades of near constant grinding of her teeth due to stress.

Many routine medical expenses — never mind trans medical care—have not been covered by Samantha’s insurance in all these decades of hard work. All preventative care has been postponed; either because of cost, or the time required away from her current job.

Samantha dreams of being able to go to school for 3 months to get her Commercial Driver’s License. This career she could have in just 3 months would nearly double her earning capacity immediately, allowing her to take much better care of herself and her beloved family. Having a CDL would also allow her to take jobs that focused either on local runs, where she would be home nightly, or take over the road jobs in an industry that is badly in need of drivers.

Classes start on October 22, 2018, and if she misses that date, the nest start isn't until next year, greatly delaying her efforts, and putting her that much further behind.

You can help Samantha by giving $25 now. If you can't afford $25, any amount will help! She has secured a very generous matching grant from an anonymous benefactor as well. Every dollar donated will be matched up to $1000, so your gift will be doubled.
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Samantha Bartilson 
Barberton, OH
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