Although she came from a good home and was an exceptional student, Amanda began experimenting with drugs and alcohol early in her teenage years. As she reached college, the using became worse. She continued to maintain good grades and a stable outward appearance until she had nearly completed graduate school. That's when she first tried heroin. Before long the drug had hijacked her life. Amanda dropped out of school one semester prior to graduation. "Heroin was my best friend. It is what I said good morning to, spent the entire day seeking, and said goodnight to."
One morning in 2012, Amanda awoke to her boyfriend lying dead from an overdose. The event triggered a string of arrests until Amanda was given the choice to enroll in drug court or go to prison. She surrendered and accepted help from Catholic Charities' Jail & Prison Ministry program.
With no other support system, Amanda's mentors became her advocates. "The Jail & Prison Ministry program lifted me up when I needed it the most and cheered me on when I succeeded. The program made it possible for me to get through drug court without fail. I will be forever grateful for an amazing mentor and circle of support. They have influenced my life in the most astonishing ways."
Inspired by the kindness so freely given to her, Amanda is now working to establish a non-profit, sober living facility in Dubuque, IA.