Meet Sammi Haney: Age and background of Raising Dion's Esperanza

Yasmine Leung February 2, 2022
Meet Sammi Haney: Age and background of Raising Dion's Esperanza
Photo by Roger Kisby/Getty Images for Netflix

Raising Dion season 2 recently aired and Sammi Haney is stealing hearts already. Get to know the actress, including her age and background.

Raising Dion season 2 landed on Netflix on 1 February 2022, and Sammi Haney has already been praised as “the star of the show” and “girl boss in the making”, thanks to her sassy portrayal of Dion’s BFF Esperanza Jimenez.

Since she’s got a big personality on screen, fans forget she’s still young, so read on to find out exactly how old she is.

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Sammi Haney’s age

The child actress was born on 25 August 2010 in San Antonio, Texas, so she is 11 years old. Sammi’s parents are Matt, an HEB production artist, and Priscilla, a former art teacher.

Sammi is the youngest of three siblings. Her sister, Sarah, is about 17 years old, and her brother, John, is about 14.

Raising Dion is the actress’ first major role. She previously appeared as herself in the TV series 7 Little Johnstons in 2019, although she was uncredited.

She scored the role of Esperanza after appearing in a 2017 New York Times feature on Inspiration Island, the special-needs water park at Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio.

Netflix saw the article and reached out to the theme park for Sammi’s details. Meanwhile, her mother saw a Raising Dion casting call for a “sassy wheelchair user”. They loved the audition and the rest, as they say, is history.

She’s a disability advocate

Sammi may be young but she’s made it her mission to increase awareness and acceptance of the special-needs community and remove the stigma of people with disabilities in media. Her company, Disability Shirts, launched in 2019, providing themed apparel for the community.

The actress was born with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) type III, also known as brittle bone disease. Sammi was diagnosed in the womb and was born with 19 detectable fractures.

Since then she has broken hundreds of bones during even the most mundane of activities, such as turning when asleep. She uses a wheelchair and previously wore leg braces to help her movement.

Sammi has undergone multiple surgeries from the age of two, with new metal telescoping rods surgically implanted into her arms and legs to straighten her bones almost every year.

Her first surgery was on her mouth, as the disease also affects teeth. Yet, despite all the pain and hurt, the actress continues to live her life to the full and participates in horse riding and canoeing.

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Fans think Esperanza is ‘adorable’

Watch Sammi show off her vocal range with Jennifer Hudson song And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going:

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Yasmine is a third-year Anthropology and Media student at Goldsmiths University with a new obsession with League of Legends, despite being really bad. She's always on social media keeping on top of the latest news and trends and is HITC’s expert in Korean pop culture. She also loves music, TV and fashion - her favourite things to write about.