25 Years of STAR: Samara de Garis

I now have the confidence to be the best advocate for Samara that I can be.

Sue de Garis – mother of Samara de Garis

Samara seems completely at home at a semi-rural property in Karalee, caring for horses- her favourite animals. She is a participant of STAR’s Horsing Around program since 2017.

The program is designed to support those with intellectual disabilities to build self-esteem and improve social skills.

“It's been a fantastic experience for her”, her mother Sue said. “It not only helps her emotional well-being, but also helps her build dexterity in her hands.”

Tess Grecco supports Samara at Horsing Around. “When Samara first started, she said the word “sorry” very often. She seemed anxious of making mistakes.”

A few months on, Tess began to see a completely different young lady - hardly ever hearing “I’m Sorry” from Samara.

Each horse has a unique personality and has to be handled differently. Samara takes on those different personalities of the horses with skill and confidence. 

“I am so proud of Samara and all her achievements. We have seen wonderful growth in her self-esteem, independence and confidence to the point that Samara was able to move into shared independent living earlier last year,” added Sue.

“STAR has supported me with support coordination for Samara's plan. They have helped me with understanding Samara's budget, how to laisse with service providers and the confidence to be the best advocate for Samara that I can be. STAR has been on an amazing journey with Samara.”