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Spring 2023 Winner of the Moving Forward Scholarship

Aime Clarice Muntz

Aime Clarice is a Psychology major studying at Idaho State University. Through her essay, you learn of her incredible story of strength and the hard work she has put into moving forward. Aime’s writing demonstrates her resilience, determination and sacrifice.

Aime Clarice Muntz

Read Aime's Essay:

Every day I would awaken frozen, exhausted, and afraid. I wanted to be anywhere else, anyone else. I would walk into the living room to see my mother, her head down, her hands shaking as she poured generic cereal and powdered milk into three bowls. She did not speak; she did not look up from the floor. As I peeked to see her face, I saw the blue and black marks that so often scarred my mother’s face. This is how so many of our days would begin until I was thirteen years old.

By the time I was five years old I was desperate to have a father. Mine had been taken to prison for robbing a pharmacy to feed his addiction. He would spend the next twenty years chasing his fist high. When my mother met my step father I felt a sense of family for the first time, I felt assured, safe and whole. Not even a year had passed before my mother was swept away by an ambulance to spend three days in the hospital for injuries sustained from my step father. As the years went on the violence continued. After a few years I would also become a victim of the monster I once called daddy. I learned later that my mother and stepfather were using various drugs and they spent almost every night at the local tavern as my brother, sister and I were left outside in the car. This would be our life for many years to come. I felt angry, ashamed, and lost. My childhood experiences would later influence my choice in romantic partners, friends, and my own drug use.

Hi, my name is Aime, and I am a drug addict and alcoholic. From the time I was twelve years old I have struggled with substance use and toxic relationship addiction. I would allow this disease to destroy my life and that of my family for the next 20 years. I went to prison three times for crimes I committed to obtain drugs and alcohol. Today I am forty-seven years old, and I have fourteen years of sobriety. I started my college career when I was three years sober. I have spent the last fourteen years giving back to the community and others who struggle with the disease of addiction in various ways. I have sponsored other addict/alcoholics and assisted community events for recovery centers. I sat on the board of directors for the Magic Valley Fellowship Hall and the Behavioral Health Board. I did my practicum with The Walker Center in Gooding, Idaho which is a co-occurring inpatient drug rehabilitation center, this is where I found my calling, my home. Today I am a Certified Drug and Alcohol counselor. I sit on the strategic planning committee and the quality assurance committee.

Over the last four years addiction has devastated my family and friends. I have lost many key loved ones who succumbed to their disease. My father, brother, sister-in-law, uncle, best friend, and husband to name a few. Each one died in overdose or liver failure from substance abuse. Through each tragedy I sustained my recovery and resolve. I raised three children, work full time, and attend full time classes. I wake each morning with the pain of my loss and the determination to help alleviate the suffering of others. My story is not over. There are still people suffering, others that need help to recover from their childhood wounds, addictions, and pain.

I had no idea that my past and my pain would lead me to where I am today or that I could recover and surviving countless tragedies. This scholarship will help assist me in achieving my degree however it’s much more than that. The power of my purpose to alleviate suffering is what's desperately needed in so many lives. With my psychology degree I can better assist the individuals who are courageous enough to ask for help. So many of them have mental health conditions that are at the core of their addiction. I need additional knowledge that will allow me to better assist them in their journey.

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