Samantha Guenther credits family and friends in supporting her through life’s uphill battles

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Photo courtesy of Samantha Guenther; Design by Ariah Hernandez

She is a student overcoming personal hardships and going above expectations. She is a student with a bright future ahead.

She is Samantha Guenther ‘21, a senior at La Quinta High School, who has ambitions of one day attending medical school and becoming a pediatrician.

Guenther says her greatest struggle was the passing of her mother, Kristy Guenther—who lost a four-year battle to cancer.

“Watching her go through that was hard,” said Guenther, “and then having her die at such a young age was really difficult.”

Having dealt with such a tragedy at the age of 14, she has learned how to fight back at any uphill battle that comes her way. Guenther said that her friends and family have acted as her support system.

Guenther is especially thankful for her close group of friends during that time. “[They] literally came over the day when everything happened and showed me support and love,” she said.

One friend, in particular, stands out in her memory of someone who was there for her when she needed it.

“I went through a lot of family problems throughout high school,” she said. “One of my really good friends, Emma Harvath ‘21, was always there right by my side, coming over at random times, bringing me food or whatever it was to help me.”

When asked who inspires her, the soon-to-be high school graduate expressed her admiration of her grandfather, Robert High, who was a wildly successful entrepreneur.

“He owned arcade businesses and bars all around the world,” she said. “He had 50—and every single one was 10,000 square feet.” He is now retired and is an accountant in his free time.

Through it all, Guenther has flourished into a wise young adult—even during the pandemic.

“Things may seem scary and it will take forever,” she said, “but it ended up being a good time to be by myself and self evaluate and grow. I learned how to be more independent.”

Humans of La Quinta High School is an ongoing series featuring Blackhawk students and staff.