Meet the 21-year-old raising her five siblings after parents’ death: ‘I became their adult’

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Samantha Rodriguez was only 17 years old when she and her five younger siblings lost both their parents to cancer. Even as she mourned them, the teen was vividly aware of the fact that without an adult to look after them, her siblings were in danger of heading to the state’s foster-care system.

Determined not to break her dad’s promise to her mother, the young woman decided to do everything in her power to keep the family together. Even if it meant putting her life on hold to be the adult in the family.

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