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story.lead_photo.caption Samantha and Max Bevell met in college when Samantha was studying special education at Missouri State in Springfield. The two now live in Holts Summit. (Photo submitted by Samantha Bevell)

This column serves as a spotlight, highlighting the everyday people who work and live in Callaway County. The Fulton Sun takes a moment with someone who is not usually featured in the news but is just as instrumental in making the community the strong and beautiful place residents here know and love.

Samantha Bevell has spent most of her life in Callaway County with her family. After growing up in Mokane, she left to get her undergradate degree in special education at Missouri State. While there, she met her husband, Max Bevell. After moving to St. Louis to be with Max, she worked for the Special School District of St. Louis County. She received a master's degree in autism and now works as a behavior analyst. Last December, the Bevells decided to move back to Callaway County to Holts Summit. Samantha works at an autism clinic in Columbia, where she is able to serve surrounding communities.

What was your first job?

When I was in high school, I was interning at the Fulton Sun. I was a reporter student when I was a junior in high school. I really liked it, it was fun.

Who inspires you the most?

Probably both of my parents, Jennifer and Chad Booher. They're really hard-working people. My dad, he does a lot of work with the City of Mokane. And then my mom works with teenagers around the country in juvenile detention centers, and she coaches the people that work with them on how to be compassionate and work with kids who have trauma. Both of them are really inspirational to me.

What have you done that has been most fulfilling?

I would say taking the leap and getting my master's degree in the specialized area I was passionate about, because I got my undergrad kind of in the broad area but then kind of jumping toward a specifically in autism was a leap of faith. That was kind of scary but it was worth it. Now, I get to work with some pretty cool kids.

What is something you are proud of that you've been recognized for?

The work that I've done within the community for working with kids (that have) special needs. I'm hoping to continue working and reach more families, especially in these smaller towns that are needing resources because there's not as much in a small community as there was in St. Louis.

If you could do any job in the world, what would it be?

I really like the job that I have but maybe (being) a financial coach would be fun (by) helping people with their budgets and stuff.

What is a job you wouldn't want to do?

Any sort of basic office job and (a job that isn't) able to get out and do stuff with the community.

What is your favorite thing about Callaway County?

Callaway County is made up of a lot of different small communities, and there's always different things going on. If you're in one small town there's something going on and then jump over to the next one there's something else going on. And then you get to be a part of several small towns and not just one larger town within the county.

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