Here at Soroptimist, calling up our newest cohort of Live Your Dream Awards recipients to tell them they’ve been selected is one of the most special times of year.
For these women, the cash grant they’ll receive might mean a new lease on their dreams that have been held in uncertainty throughout 2020 and even before.
One of the women we called up was Amanda. Judges selected Amanda from over 200 deserving women, and it’s obvious why. She’s a woman with a generous heart, determined to help others heal from addiction and trauma just as she once did.
We asked Amanda if it was okay to share her story, and she happily agreed. So please meet Amanda!
2021 Live Your Dream Awards 1st Level Recipient
“My pain has become my passion and my purpose. No amount of words could express my gratitude or the impact this grant will have on so many lives.”
Q: What are your career goals?
AMANDA: My career goal as a Naturorthopathic is to help people understand and heal from diseases, especially addiction (alcohol, drug, and food addictions). Naturorthopathic medicine includes addressing nutritional deficiencies and imbalances, in combination with treating the whole person.
As a woman who has recovered from many physical, emotional and mental conditions, and found freedom from alcoholism, my goal is to share that healing and relieve shame and guilt for those who suffer.
I also have a desire to collaborate with nonprofits, volunteers, and sponsors to bring awareness and healing; particularly to those in low-income areas.
Q: What challenges have you faced?
AMANDA: I grew up in an abusive environment, as the “protector” of my two younger siblings, and the “peacemaker” between my parents. During my teenage years, I developed an eating disorder and began to experience autoimmune, chronic pains and other physical ailments.
My early twenties began a tormented road to alcoholism that lasted well over a decade. I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety disorder, and PTSD. During this time, I had married into an abusive relationship.
Though I questioned God through anger, through his guidance I have gained knowledge, strength, and hope that I can share with others.
I am a fairly new single mom (divorced for 2 years). My children are 8 and 11. Before the Covid pandemic, I had fine-tuned a balance to make ends meet for myself and my children. The pandemic disrupted that balance. From March to August, my employer had to shut down the studio where I worked as a Holistic Personal Trainer. Therefore, I have gone without steady income for a long time.
Despite all obstacles, I am so very grateful for all of the hardships I have endured. Without them, I would not have the gratitude, passion, and sense of purpose that I do.
Q: How will the Live Your Dream Awards help you get closer to your goals?
AMANDA: This grant would help me in countless ways. It will help me further my education so I can expand my knowledge to share with others. It would allow me to complete my studies quickly while still maintaining a life balance that would otherwise be overwhelming and financially impossible. And it will enhance the lives of my children, helping pay for clothing, essentials, and health care.
Once I obtain my degree, I’ll have the credentials to approach organizations and potential partners on behalf of the non-profit that I work with, which provides food and clothing for the less fortunate who struggle with addictions, mental and physical disabilities, and other obstacles.
Q: Any final words you want to share?
AMANDA: I received my double practitioner’s certifications in holistic wellness, and I will be continuing towards my doctorate in the fall. This would not have been possible if not for Soroptimist!
Soroptimist has played a major role in enabling me to help others. I could never say thank you enough!
Join us by investing in dreams!
Would you be willing to chip in a donation today? Your support will give more women like Amanda the chance to live their dreams.
You see, for every 1 woman that received a Live Your Dream Award this year from our headquarters, another 7 did not receive anything. And across our 1,200+ Soroptimist clubs, thousands more hopeful women applied for a grant but were turned away due to a lack of funds.
This shouldn’t be the case.
Each of these courageous, hardworking, ambitious women deserves support. With help from donors, we can grow our impact to help more of these women in need!
Your gift of $100, $50, or even $10 today will go a long way and transform the lives of more women like Amanda.