At the age of six, Samantha started to exhibit strange behavior; often spacing out and staring at objects for a long time. Her parents sought out doctors and child psychiatrists for help but they could not discover the problem. More over, Samantha did not seem to suffer or show any developmental problem because of the episodes. As Sam grew older, however, she did begin to have trouble relating to others. She had difficulty explaining herself and did not communicate effectively. Often her speech was choppy and missing meaningful words. She also grew frustrated by people's lack of understanding and began to lash out. Tests for attention deficit disorder, autism and other problems were negative and Samantha's parents despaired.
One day at the age of eight Samantha grew despondent over a dress her mother had given her. This was a special gift for her birthday party but according to the girl, was not what she wanted. Her parents explained that she had never chosen a specific dress. Incensed, Samantha threw a tantrum which culminated in the dress being ripped out of her mother's hands by an unseen force and thrown across the room. Samantha knew she had done this though she did not know how and became frightened and withdrawn. Her parents tried to comfort her but her behavior worsened. At one point she became so depressed she began to hurt herself in unseen ways. Bruises would appear on her body without explanation and no matter what her parents did, they would keep appearing. Afraid for their daughter and for the safety of her older sister, Samantha's Parents scoured the country in search for someone to help.
In the end, help came to them in the form of Dr. Myra Lucas of the Paranormal Studies Institute. Dr. Lucas explained to Samantha's parents that the girl was an ESPER, or someone with ESP/psionic powers and that all the girl's problems stemmed from a lack of understanding of her abilities. For example, Samantha's difficulty in communication was due to her telepathic abilities. she received other people's thoughts as well as words and expected other to do the same. She counted on others "hearing" her thoughts as well as words. But Samantha did not know how to telepathically send those thoughts so they were not received.
Dr. Lucas Invited Samantha's parents to bring the child to the Institute and see all that could be done to help. Soon Samantha was a student at PSI. All the core members of PSI had been prodigious in their development of their abilities, but had in many ways developed them on their own at first and were adults when they received real training. Samantha began her training at eight year of age and grew up into it. She developed into one of the most able espers at the institute even rivaling its administration: Alex Del Pino, for example was unparalleled in the physical abilities such as telekinesis, as was Myra Lucas in telepathy. When Joao Da Silva joined the institute, he showed an uncannily specialized ability to work psionically with machines. But Samantha developed all her abilities to an incredible degree. Only one student was obviously more skilled: a young man named John Templeton who was a prodigy among prodigies.
With the help of the Institute, Samantha had an outwardly unremarkable childhood going through school without any problems and building a strong bond with her family. But her parents and the Institute were not the only ones keeping an eye on the girl. The CIA often recruited for its Psi Corps from PSI and had followed Samantha's progress for years. They approached Samantha's parents about allowing her the opportunity to join the Corps after high school. (Although it is policy for CIA operatives to have a college degree, this does not hold true for the Psi Corps which is modeled after the armed forces). The parents agreed that Samantha should be given the choice an so the institute had no say in the matter. Although Alex would try to dissuade Samantha from following this course saying it would take many choices away from her life to make such a decision while so young.
Samantha, however, liked the prospect of adventure and agreed. After turning eighteen she began preliminary training and after graduating high school left for Langley, Virginia to begin her training in earnest. From this point on Samantha's activities became largely classified, although it is knows that she participated in many operations all over the world as part of the Psi Corp both with the CIA and loaned out to various branches of the US Armed Forces.
Samantha's life changed when she was brought in to act as a security measure in a meeting with Alex Del Pino. It had become standard procedure to have a telepath present when high ranking officials met with a known of suspected esper. It is also possible that Samantha's superior, Thomas Dewey chose her for reasons of his own.
After the meeting Samantha chose to leave Washington with Alex, taking a much needed vacation to visit her family in Florida. In the process she became embroiled in the paranormal event that led to the destruction of the Institute's base on the campus of Florida University.
Samantha again chose to help as Alex Del Pino, Myra Lucas and Joao Da Silva sought out the presence they believed had destroyed the Insitiute and kidnapped two of their comrades. After the episode ended successfully, Samantha left to spend time with her family.
Soon thereafter Alex Del Pino revealed a plan to bring back PSI and make it independent of political ties and funding limitations. Alex brought PSI under the umbrella of his family's company, Probe Industries. This new PSI would not only be more independent but Alex also believed it should be more proactive in facing dangers of a paranormal nature. Samantha wholeheartedly agreed and arranged for a leave of absence from the CIA to join the new Paranormal Studies Institute.
Samantha believes that PSI is a much needed force in the world in order to give espers a legitimate presence and prevent any catastrophes. Although she is devoted to the Psi Corps, she believes them to be too political and covert to perform that duty. PSI is not only a force for good but an OVERT force that can be a symbol for the future. Samantha's only problem with the organization is the lack of discipline and the resistance, especially on the part of Myra Lucas to train as Psi-operatives. She believes her comrades to be unprepared for any serious threats. As a good spy, however, she tried to subtly change things from within rather that through pointless confrontations.