A former Abbotsford woman has been awarded the second 2020 Courage to Come Back Award from Coast Mental Health.
Amanda Staller received the award in the “addiction” category for overcoming years of abuse and addiction to come back and give back to communities that supported her personal journey and healing.
After a traumatizing childhood, Staller was addicted to cocaine and working in the sex trade, all before she reached adulthood.
After years of addictions; physical, sexual and emotional abuse; and periods of incarceration, Staller began her journey to becoming clean, reuniting with her family and healing from years of suffering.
However, she didn’t stop there. Staller now works as a Drug War Survivors coordinator with Matsqui-Abbotsford Impact Society, as well as a Narcotics Anonymous sponsor and volunteer at Lastdoor Society and Westminster House.
She is dedicated to using her experiences to support others going through similar situations.
“My purpose in life is to give hope and be the voice I always wanted to hear but never did,” she said.
Staller has allowed her story to be featured in several notable books and documentaries in hopes that her struggles might provide the hope needed to inspire people struggling with adversity to recognize their own worth and pursue the quality life they deserve.
She is a sought-after public speaker in academic circles as well as in recovery groups and correctional facilities.
The Courage to Come Back Award is presented to five individuals every July in the categories of addiction, physical rehabilitation, mental health, youth and medical.