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Voices for Recovery

Andrew Allen (07/28/2011)

Andrew Allen Voice

Born on 7/7/77, I grew up thinking I'd be lucky. It wasn't until I got sober that I realized just how lucky I am.

I excelled in sports and academics when I was young, but my childhood wasn't easy. I had several run-ins with the law, and by my freshman year of high school, I was failing classes, misdiagnosed as a sociopath, and expelled from school. All that changed once I received treatment at Youth & Shelter Services (YSS) in Ames, IA. There I awoke to a new life.

For the first time, I surrendered. My life changed as I thrived on the concept of giving back. YSS put me on its board and empowered me to become successful.

I got involved in a 12-step recovery. I became a mentor to youth. I finished high school and college, took a Fortune 250 corporate job, and found myself leading my company's United Way campaign. I spoke publicly for the first time in a professional setting about my journey. That year, my company won the Spirit of America Award from the United Way of America.

Inspired to do more, I took a role in community relations managing charitable giving; was appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice; helped create, which raises $165K+ annually for youth homelessness awareness; was inducted into the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame; and was named the inaugural Young Professional of the Year by Juice Magazine.

Today, recovery is the center of my life, making me the best husband, father, son, employee, and community member I can be.

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