Student stories: Meet Samuel

Safe Passage student stories: meet samuel

Samuel is the oldest of five siblings. He started attending Safe Passage in 2001, at the small church where Hanley started our program in 1999. At Safe Passage, life was vibrant, supportive, and safe.

At home, Samuel’s world was turning upside down. Just one year after he started school, Samuel had to leave.

Samuel’s parents had separated and his mother, the one encouraging his education, was no longer living with Samuel and his siblings. After two years, his mother reached out and pleaded with Samuel to return to school. He listened.

Samuel’s mother had been sick since he was very young.  As Samuel continued his studies, life at home continued to be difficult and his mother was progressively getting worse. As the oldest child, Samuel was in charge of the family but did not have the resources to buy the medicine his mother so desperately needed.

With no one else to turn to, Samuel asked Safe Passage for help.

“I’m really grateful for what Safe Passage did for my mother. They gave me everything I needed, not just medicine, but also support and help from my social worker.”

As his mother’s condition worsened, Samuel spent the majority of his time at the hospital. No one else in the family could.

“My social worker would call to see how my mother was doing and helped with whatever was needed. It didn’t matter what time it was, she was always there for me.”

Sadly, Samuel’s mother passed away.

Samuel graduated from Safe Passage in 2015. Today, Samuel is a Young Collaborator intern (part of Próximo Paso) and is also working in the formal economy as an accounting assistant. (Update May 2017: We’re happy to report that Samuel is now studying Psychology at Mariano Gálvez University!)

Inspired by his mother’s encouragement, Samuel is working hard to achieve her greatest dream: for Samuel to graduate from university.

“For me, Safe Passage is everything. Literally everything. They have given me tools to develop myself as a professional and have been there for me and my family. I know there are kids who have stories like mine or even worse. I want to give back some of what Safe Passage has given me.”