My name is Samantha B. Harris. I have an amazing boyfriend named Marvin Plascensia. Together we have a healthy, handsome son named Damian M. Plascensia. Me and Marvin are 19, Damian is 2 and he was born when we were 16 years old.
When I found out that I was pregnant it was definitely a shock. I wasn’t on a good path in life. I was the kid parents didn’t want their children to be friends with. I was a very selfish person who didn’t care about family, school, or pretty much anything. The only care I had was having fun all of the time. And the “fun” things that I was doing were getting me in trouble and risking a lot. However, when I saw the ultrasound of the little baby growing inside of me I was immediately motivated to make some big changes in my life.
I knew that I wanted to give birth and that I would do whatever it would take to give my child a great life. At the time I was attending a high school that didn’t support teen pregnancy. When I told the nurse the news, she gave me lots of different options of schools to go to. I decided to go to Valley Vista because they had a Mother’s class and also a free daycare for the babies so that the teen moms could go to school.
I am so happy that I chose to go there because I met Myrna there. She was volunteering once a week to tutor the teen moms. She would always hand out fliers about YoungLives club. At the time I had no interest to go, but some of the girls told me it was really fun and that they were going to be there. So I finally decided to go and they were right.
I remember the first time I went I was a little shy because I had a big belly and I thought people would judge me. When I showed up it was the total opposite. There were a lot of teen moms that had babies and that were pregnant. I finally had a place to go where genuinely humble, sweet people LOVED me. They didn’t think of me as a sad story or charity, they actually accepted me and wanted to get to know me. I didn’t realize until the end of club that all of these great people were followers of God and many of them attended a church called Rock Harbor.
After a couple months of going to club I invited Marvin. I wanted him to meet all of these wonderful people and also have a place to go with other teen dads and talk to them also. When Myrna saw us both there she invited us to come to Rock Harbor with her and her husband, Yousef. I didn’t want to go because I was still pregnant and for some reason, I didn’t feel right going in a church. I was unmarried, pregnant, AND a teenager. I didn’t have the courage. Although I grew up in a Christian family and I always went to church. I loved Sunday school and donuts and community. But those were the days when I was small. I didn’t understand life yet. I didn’t have problems or struggles.
Once I gave birth to my son I felt comfortable to go to church and I am so happy that I started going again. Honestly, being a part of a community like YoungLives has really changed my life. I went to a couple different camps with Marvin and Damian and they were so amazing. I asked God for forgiveness and accepted him into my heart.
After a couple years in my journey of following the Lord I feel like I have really grown in spirit. I recently got baptized in the ocean and it was the best day of my life! My parents came and they were so proud of me. My Mother and Father have also been by my side this whole journey. I am so blessed to Have Myrna, Yousef, my Mentor Samantha, and also all the volunteers that are apart of YoungLives in my life. They have supported me since day one and never gave up on me no matter what the situation in either of our lives.
Today, I am in a very good path. So is Marvin, We both have jobs to provide for our family. We are very patient, loving parents to our son Damian. I really enjoy going to church every week to learn more about the Word of God and also to see my YoungLives family. My goal is to maybe be a leader one day, because my leaders had a very strong impact in my life. I definitely feel that I could have impact on another girl who was on the same path as me. I have come so far and changed my life around drastically.