Success Stories

The best testament to the success of Samaritan Center's life-changing program comes from the young men and families who have participated in it.  These stories are just a small sampling of the many graduates who have passed through our doors and gone out into the world to make a positive difference for themselves and others.  We salute them and their families for their hard work and dedication, and for providing an inspiration to others.   

Benjearlene and Adrian

This mother and son are a shining example of how improved family dynamics - and truly working the Samaritan Center program together - changes everyone's lives for the better.
Benjearlene gave birth to Adrian when she was just 17, and admittedly was not ready to be a responsible mother.  His father never held a job and was involved in illegal activities - certainly not the role model she wanted for her son.  Their neighborhood was tough for a growing boy, full of shootings, drug dealers and police sirens on a daily basis.  
Not surprisingly, Adrian started to act out with a multitude of discipline issues and became a pathological liar.  In desperation, Benjearlene enrolled him in the Samaritan Center when he was 9 years old.  Although it was tough to do, today she calls it "the best decision of my life."  
After initially rebelling against Samaritan Center's discipline and structure, Adrian came to appreciate it and Benjearlene saw her son become a leader, not a follower.  She simultaneously took parenting classes and learned how to apply these proven techniques at home.  
Today, both mother and son are prospering.  Adrian is an executive at Goodwill Industries.  Benjearlene returned to high school and earned her degree at age 35.  She now runs one of the largest in-home service programs in south Florida for those with special needs.
In addition to his many behavioral problems, Adrian was three years behind academically when he came to Samaritan Center.  His performance was so poor that he was forced to repeat third grade.  
"The year before I arrived at Samaritan Center I had four Fs and two Ds," he says.  "After five years in the program, I had two As and two Bs on my high school report card."  After graduating from Samaritan Center and high school, Adrian went on to complete two years of study at Northwood University.
"Samaritan Center taught me self respect, to be my own man," he says.  This really helped in high school, where there was tremendous peer pressure to fall into bad habits.  I can honestly tell you, despite many opportunities, I've never touched a drug in my life.  Not a day goes by when I don't use something I learned at Samaritan Center to be a better person."


James was adopted as a baby by his uncle and aunt. Sadly, his early years had been fraught with abandonment and neglect. As a result, James was diagnosed with an attachment disorder.

Outwardly, James was personable and articulate - but with those close to him, specifically his mom and sister, he was angry with sadistic and violent tendencies. In essence, James worked hard to push people away before they pushed him away or abandoned him completely.

At Samaritan Center, in collaboration with local partnerships, James received the counseling he needed. He was provided with unconditional love, proving to him that no one was planning to turn their backs on him - no matter what.  James had a breakthrough. He now accepts love and provides it to others in return. Although his mother and father are no longer together, James enjoys spending time with his dad. He has learned how to function in a group and an educational environment. He continues to work on healing in his relationship with his mom and sister. The future is bright for James and his family.

Adrian 2

Adrian was a very troubled boy with challenging behavioral issues that included defiance of authority, lying, bursts of anger and reluctance to accept responsibility.  Most people believed Adrian would wind up in prison, on the streets or on welfare.

At Samaritan Center, through a great deal of love, strong guidance and much encouragement, Adrian turned his life around. We worked with Adrian and his family to provide structure and consistency in their lives. They learned that through hard work and persistence they could achieve anything.

Adrian, his mother and his two younger siblings are now off welfare, and a strong family with great values has emerged. They have set a plan for their future:  Adrian’s mother went to school to become a physician’s assistant, and is just a few credits short of achieving that goal. Having found a good job, Adrian is supporting the family while his mother attends school. Upon graduating and finding a job, it will be Adrian’s mother’s turn to support the family, allowing Adrian to go to school and earn his degree. The younger siblings? They, too, have learned to be responsible people who will contribute to the community.




Landau Returns! Sinatra, Motown and More

He's back - by popular demand!  We are pleased to announce that Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. will return for an encore performance at the Lyric Theatre on November 8, with proceeds benefiting Samaritan Center.  Learn more and get your tickets here

"Smarter" Set for November 19

Our most popular FUNdraiser, "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" returns on November 19.  Get your team together and get ready for an evening of delectable food, spirited competition and non-stop entertainment.  Proceeds benefit Samaritan Center and will support the opening of our second cottage.  Get more info here or call 287-4123 today to reserve your seat!
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