Scholarship Recipient Spotlight: Madeline Brignoni
No two Ammon Foundation Scholars have the same story, but each shares the same two commitments: recovery and education. Madeline Brignoni became enmeshed in a substance use lifestyle early in life, but persevered and was able to find a way clear of her past, to a bright future.
As a child Madeline watched both her mother and her father cook, which made a lasting impression. She experienced significant abuse growing up, and at the age of 15 she was unwillingly introduced to substance use. Afraid to tell her parents or speak up, her life became bleak as she became a young mother. She didn’t have access to any treatment programs, so she went ‘cold turkey’ all on her own and was able to be substance free within a short time.
Shortly thereafter, her mother passed away, but Madeline is very proud that she was able to be present and substance-free for her family at that time. With the help of her strong faith in a higher power, Madeline continued to try and earn a better life. She always kept a dream inside of becoming a chef, just as her parents had shown her. She recalled that seeing what ingredients were used and how they were prepared never seemed like a chore to her: it always seemed fun.
As with many people seeking recovery, finances always seemed like an impossible hurdle to achieving her education goals. In 2018 Madeline applied for an Ammon Foundation Scholarship and was awarded $4,500- the entire tuition for the Culinary School program she had always dreamed of. Now at age 47, in addition to being a student at Culinary School, Madeline is an Ammon Recovery Scholar, and joins a national network of Scholars. She is a role model to other women in recovery and works hard every day to improve her craft and continue growing as a person.