Project Birthday Joy Program Director
Samantha is an Omaha resident who attended the University of Nebraska-Kearney her freshman year of college. There she trained as a crisis hotline counselor at the S.A.F.E. Center, which began her interest in social services. Samantha returned to Omaha and began working on a bachelor's degree in psychology with a focus in child and adolescent psychology. Her goal is to work with children in a clinical setting.
In 2013, Samantha began a position as a Youth Care Worker at Children's Square USA. She quickly developed a passion for working with children and adolescents with mental illnesses, behavioral difficulties, and those in the foster care system. During this time Samantha met Chelsea and began her involvement with Share My Smile.
After spending a year working in the cottages at Children's Square, Samantha changed to a position at the Montessori Infant House in Omaha. She spent a year and a half with many sweet infants and toddlers, but ultimately missed doing therapeutic work at Children's Square. She decided to return in February 2016 as the Children's Welfare Emergency Services (CWES) Lead Worker. Samantha currently works in the shelter communicating with the Department of Human Services to arrange placement and care for all youth admitted to shelter. Much of the population for CWES comes from foster and adoptive care.
Samantha has been involved with doing foster care for rescue animals for one year and has helped 7 dogs find their forever homes. Samantha also lends some of her time to grieving families as an affiliated photographer for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, shooting professional-quality portraits of infants who pass away at birth. Samantha has been a dedicated volunteer to Share My Smile since 2013 and has been the volunteer Program Director of Project Birthday Joy since 2015.