Friday, October 24, 2014

Samantha Rearley finds her personal passion, professional pursuit through efforts to curb domestic violence

What began as a class project has evolved into a personal mission and her professional calling for OU-C student Samantha Rearley.

Rearley was a driving force behind the silent auction this week to benefit the Ross County Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RCCADV), working with fellow students as well as faculty and staff members to secure donations. Last spring, she undertook the rigorous task of organizing a successful “Casino Night” fund-raiser to benefit the coalition.

The spark behind these endeavors is a “Violence Against Women” sociology class Rearley took during spring semester 2014.

“For a group project, Sam helped develop a proposal to help create a resource center for OU-C students affected by domestic violence,” said Marguerite Hernandez, who taught the class.

Following up on the class project, Rearley then organized the Casino Night event, recruiting both donations and community volunteers, including Chillicothe Mayor Jack A. Everson.

“Clearly, Sam did not accomplish this ambitious and impressive project for a grade in a class, but because of her strong commitment to addressing domestic violence,” Hernandez said.

Rearley’s motivation is found in helping others and her community.

“All of the brave women I have had the opportunity to help through the RCCADV have their own tragic story,” Rearley said. “To know what obstacles the have overcome and to see them go through the highs of lows of gaining independence while becoming self-sufficient, and then to see the tears of joy when they accomplish their goals is what motivates me.”

“Also, around 50 percent of the clients the coalition helps are current or former OU-C students, so their efforts hit home on campus. Domestic violence is a big deal that involves men, women and children and which impacts Ross County,” Rearley said.

Rearley’s efforts have given her a compass for her future pursuits.

“In my career, I want to see where I can go with working with the coalition or maybe another similar non-profit organization. I really feel I have found my calling,” Rearley said. “My academic interests and personal passions are all coming together in a way that has given me a career focus.”

Rearley, a senior, is majoring in women, gender and sexuality, as well as sociology/criminology. A graduate of Unioto High School, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in Ohio University’s graduate counseling program.

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