What's Happening


From Risk to Opportunity - Samara

Updated on August 21, 2018

How Samara found Pivot can only be called serendipitous. She was living in and out of the homes of relatives and with her boyfriend over the last year. One day, her uncle said he heard about a place who could help her. They went to his home to look up Pivot on his computer and a news story about Pivot came on the television. Her uncle took Samara to Pivot the next morning.


Samara is 17 years old and has missed a year and a half of high school because of the often violent home environment she lived in with her immediate family. She watched most of her friends go to prom this past spring and graduate from high school and she thought, I want that, too. Samara lights up when she talks about her future. By her smile and glow, you can tell she is genuinely happy for her friends and is anxious to make it happen for herself.


Samara has been told by too many that failure is in her future and she’ll end up just like her mother. Her mom gave birth to her when she was only 15 years old. She’s since had three more children and will give birth to another child this month. Basically, Samara and her mother grew up together. Her mother is a strong and honest woman and instilled those values in her daughter. However, unfortunately, she hasn’t been able to give her a safe home and the support she has needed as a teenager.


“Your environment impacts everything about you, especially your attitude,” said Samara. “Everyone needs a place where you can be you and be supported.”


Samara has decided failure is not an option for her.


When she moved into one of Pivot’s independent living apartments, she felt like she was home and “immediately got to work” making it her own. Joyful is the word Samara used to describe how she feels now to have her own space where she can read, watch TV, write and sing. Her favorite aunt encouraged her to write about the pain she’s experienced in poems and songs. Three years ago, Samara lost her dear aunt, but her passion for writing and singing that her aunt helped cultivate has helped Samara heal.


Samara’s nonstop reading and writing have also propelled her forward in her education and, in only a few short months, she’ll have her high school diploma. She plans to walk in graduation so she, too, can experience what she missed out on this past year. The first day she was tested she scored ‘advanced’ in reading and ‘proficient’ in math. Professor Chris is thrilled with her progress.


“If all of my students came to me with the intelligence and drive that Samara possesses,” said Professor Chris, “we’d be marching kids across the stage every week.”


So, what’s Samara going to do with her big brain? She wants to pursue a degree in Business Administration and open her own hair salon. She’ll call it ‘True Salon’ after her aunt who passed away. Samara wants to help people feel beautiful.


“When someone hears my name, I want it to mean something,” said Samara. “I want them to know what I stand for, that I’m a good woman.”


What does the Pivot name mean to Samara?


“It’s a feeling you get being here, it’s like a home.”


“Not only is your every necessity met from food to blankets to body products, but they call and check on you and don’t make you feel like you’re a bother.”


Samara believes Pivot supports her in more ways than she can count or express in words, although she summed it up very well in our opinion.


“Pivot helped me become an asset to myself.”