On February 14, 2018 a gunman wielding an AR-15 entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and fired on students, faculty, and staff. Seventeen people lost their lives and many others were wounded. Samantha Fuentes was amongst the injured in the Parkland tragedy, and while fortunate to be alive, her body and life changed forever. She has bullet shrapnel permanently embedded in her legs and behind her right eye, and currently manages symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She lost revered friends and faculty members. Despite these tragic events, today, Samantha is resolved and committed to a poignant mission: to make sure that no child or adult is devastated by senseless and preventable gun violence ever again.
Samantha Fuentes is a survivor. She now works closely with Angel Faces, an organization that serves girls who have endured all types of trauma. Many of the girls have been injured at the hands of someone else; car accidents, dog attacks and acid attacks. Samantha came to Angel Faces fragile, scared and exhausted. Giving her a place to exhale from her highly charged traumatic event, she found bravery and self-love. She is now a champion speaking about the importance of human rights and equality — being a victim of gun violence only further bolsters her purpose.
Samantha will be presenting about the importance of hearing the silent voices of the children who have suffered violence and will speak about creating programs in schools and communities for girls who have survived trauma.