Hope for Addiction Scholarships Awarded to Two Deserving Students by Recovery Centers of America

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa., April 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Recovery Centers of America ("RCA") today announced two winners of a $1000 college scholarship for students recovering from addiction or affected by the addiction epidemic and who are pursuing a degree with a mindset towards helping individuals and families struggling with addiction.

RCA awarded this year's Hope for Addiction Scholarship to Abril "Grace" Alello from Walker, Louisiana. Grace survived her own addiction and now dreams of completing her undergraduate degree and becoming a certified addiction counselor. Grace described the details of her journey from addiction to recovery, "Although, my story is not pretty. It is mine. I choose to own it and have defeated the shame connected to my past by giving it purpose. I choose today, not to be defined by my addiction, but to be defined by my recovery. All through my childhood and into my adulthood I was given many labels; abused and neglected, poor white trash, runaway, orphan, delinquent, liar, easy, junkie, criminal.... Today I create my own labels; overcomer, hoper, hugger, strong and faithful wife, doggie mom..."

Grace attends Southeastern Louisiana University and is majoring in psychology. She is also attending Louisiana Addiction Counselor Training through the Louisiana Association for Substance Abuse Counselors and Trainers. Grace states "...I can think of no truer purpose or greater privilege than to offer hope and guidance to those who have lost themselves to the darkness of addiction..."

RCA received applications for the 2019-2020 Hope for Addiction Scholarship from 22 states and elected to award two equal scholarships this year. For one of the scholarships, RCA partnered with Mothers Against Prescription Drug Abuse to create an RCA/MAPDA Hope for Addiction Scholarship.

The Recovery Centers of America/Mother Against Prescription Drug Abuse Hope for Addiction Scholarship was awarded to Alexandra (Lexi) Tulowiecki who attends Syracuse University. Lexi is from Liverpool, NY and is a senior triple major student studying social work, psychology, and forensic science.

After she obtains her undergraduate degrees this May, Lexi will begin a program of study in the fall for a Masters' degree in Social Work at Syracuse. Her goal is to become a masters level clinical social worker to help individuals impacted by trauma.

Lexi suffered early from the effects of substance use disorder as she lost both parents to the disease. Her mom passed away at age 50 from a heroin/fentanyl overdose when she was 16 years old. Her mother's addiction began when her doctor prescribed her Xanax for her diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. Lexi stated, "Many people blame the individual for their addiction, but what most people don't know is that many opioid addictions begin from normal prescriptions."

Lexi said "At only 16-years-old, I was left motherless. The past five years I have felt lost, empty, and confused without my mother. I find myself questioning what I could've done to save her. Should I have convinced her to go to rehab? Should I have called the cops when drug dealers came to our house? Should I have called 911 every time she passed out at the kitchen table during dinner? I can ask myself hundreds of questions, but one thing will never change: she's gone, and she's not coming back."

Only a few years after her mother's death, her father tragically died at age 53 from cirrhosis of the liver due to a lifelong battle against alcoholism. Lexi stated that "[b]ecoming a social worker is my way of honoring [my parents]."

Recovery Centers of America provides the annual Hope for Addiction scholarship program for students in the United States that are currently or prospectively enrolled in an accredited college, university, or trade school and are pursuing a degree with a goal of helping individuals and families struggling with addiction . RCA has treated close to 40,000 patients for substance use disorders since 2016. RCA's success in helping individuals battle drug and alcohol addictions is based on providing affordable evidence-based treatment in an atmosphere of dignity. RCA's treatment centers are normally located within an hour and a half's drive from a patient's neighborhood; the addiction treatment is offered in-network with most insurance companies so there is less financial and emotional stress on families.

"We applaud the dedication and fortitude of these two amazing RCA Hope for Addiction scholarship winners. These individuals overcame some of the most difficult obstacles that can be experienced in life and are channeling their sorrows and energies into helping others overcome the battle against substance use disorder," said Terri C. Malenfant, Director of Public Relations for RCA.

To apply for the 2020-2021 RCA Hope for Addiction Scholarship, please visit https://recoverycentersofamerica.com/scholarship/.

Recovery Centers of America (1-800 Recovery) provides evidence-based comprehensive addiction treatment at seven inpatient drug and alcohol rehab facilities in Devon, Pennsylvania; South Amboy and Mays Landing, NJ; Westminster and Danvers, Massachusetts; and Earleville and Waldorf, Maryland. A full spectrum of Outpatient addiction treatment is also provided at many of these facilities, as well as an outpatient only drug and alcohol rehab in Voorhees, New Jersey. RCA also provides Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) at many of its treatment centers and at its facilities in Trenton and Somerdale, NJ and in Lansdowne, PA.

Contact: Terri C. Malenfant
Recovery Centers of America

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SOURCE Recovery Centers of America