Amanda was raised in rural Iowa on a farm,“I learned a lot about farming, raising animals, gardening, canning, baking and responsibility”.

At the age of 11, Amanda lost her identity, sense of security and innocence after being sexually assaulted.

After this “My family began to fall apart. I was abused, a cutter, and could no longer bear my home life”. After Amanda’s parents separated, the repercussions of it took a toll on Amanda.

She began stealing and drinking. At 20 years old, after several failed suicide attempts, she was diagnosed with depression, anxiety and PTSD.

“I began to feel desperate, out of control and did not know who to turn to. A couple days later I met with a church friend. I was ready for a change in my life”.

Although her behaviors suggested she wanted to die, the opposite was quite true – she wanted to live but did not know how. Two weeks later Amanda walked into Teen Challenge.

With a lot of hard work and determination, Amanda graduated from the Milwaukee Teen Challenge program in August 2013 and entered Brooklyn Teen Challenge School of Ministry, located at our original center in Brooklyn, New York.

“I enjoy taking classes at the Brooklyn School of Ministry and interning at the office. My week is also busy with chapel, donor prayer, a coffee house and church.”

Amanda has recently participated in a ministry outreach called “Don’t Walk By”, reaching out to homeless people in New York City, and spends time volunteering at a nearby nursing home.