Strongsville teen's dream of becoming a nurse lives on five years after death through scholarship

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio - Samantha Archer had big plans for her life. She was going to become a nurse, along with her best friend, Brittany Wanda.

"She had such a caring heart and such a caring personality and she just wanted to make a difference in the world," Wanda said. "She knew if she went into nursing she would be able to do that."

Archer was killed in a car accident in July 2008, just weeks after turning 18 and graduating from Strongsville High School. She never made it to nursing school, but others have in her name.

Six young women have received Samantha Archer nursing scholarships. Wanda and Erica Kruse have graduated already and are now registered nurses.

"I think that she would have been in these shoes if she were still here today," said Kruse, who started her first nursing job this week at University Hospitals. "I think that she is just up there rooting for all of us."

The scholarship began as a $2,000 donation from friends of Samantha's father, Dennis Archer.

"I wanted to do more," Dennis Archer said. "I wanted it to actually make a difference so it needed a lot more money."

The Archer family began holding fundraisers and in three years, they raised nearly $100,000. Each recipient receives $2,000 a year for three years.

"It helps us," Archer said. "It gives us things that we look forward to seeing these girls get the accomplishment."

Archer said there are no future fundraisers planned, but he will continue helping Strongsville graduates go to nursing school for years to come. Donations are always welcome by calling the Strongsville Education Foundation at 440-238-5778.

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