Sean was the oldest of three boys born to parents Doug and Beth Schmidt. Beth was a stay-at-home mother who was involved in their school and sports activities in their community of Eldersburg.
Sean, who was premature at birth, was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and dyslexia when he was very young; making academics a challenge for him through all 12 years of school.
“He was not the best student, but he loved the social aspect of school,” said his mother, Beth. He was friends with everyone. He enjoyed making people laugh, or at least, smile.
The one class that Sean excelled in at school was art. He had it first period of the day and really did well in it. Later he told his family that he wanted to become a tattoo artist when he graduated.
Sean also loved playing baseball, but never had the grades to make the school teams. However, that didn’t stop him from playing T-ball all the way through senior league with the local baseball teams. He played outfield and had a knack for tracking the ball in the sky.
Sean graduated from Liberty High School in 2008 and got a job at McDonald’s where he made more new friends. One year after graduation, he moved into his girlfriend’s parents’ home.
He made new plans to attend Lincoln Technical Institute to become a truck mechanic, but first he attended bartender school while working in the kitchen at Chili’s.
His addiction was underway by then. He spent some time in jail, but also nearly 18 months in sobriety helping others before he relapsed for the last time, two days after his birthday.
His dreams went from being a tattoo artist, to engine repair and ultimately to becoming a drug counselor. Now that his voice is gone his mother, Beth, has become his voice. She and her two other sons, Alex and Eric, have been featured in a short film telling Sean’s story. It is now part of Carroll County Public Schools drug prevention program.
Beth helped form Maryland Heroin Awareness Advocate, a non-profit dedicated to raise awareness and prevention efforts. She has testified in Annapolis to help pass the Good Samaritan bill into law. Her tireless efforts continue as a family peer support specialist with Maryland Coalition of Families.
Sean’s mother, Beth, provided information for this profile.
Dec. 14, 1990 – Dec. 16, 2013
Lived with addiction 5 years.