Scholarship Recipient Spotlight: Philip A. Smyth

Philip A. Smyth III, of Pennsauken, N.J., has been in recovery for three years. His journey was one that started in a middle class family, and led him through multiple overdoses, hospitalizations, jails, and homelessness. He was without motivation, without hope, goals, or ambitions. With the help of a 12-step recovery program, his life now has meaning and purpose: helping others fight substance use disorders, and the associated social stigma.

One of the most important aspect of his new life has been a commitment to ongoing personal improvement and education. After transferring from a community college, Phil is now a Behavioral Health student at Drexel University. He credits the scholarship he was awarded by the Ammon Foundation with giving him the ability to continue his education.

I have burned a ton of bridges in my addiction and do not have any support from friends or family. I work a minimum wage job as an intern at my facility [CADC intern at Sobriety Solutions, PA] I am currently at. Financially, I am grateful to receive this scholarship because it is going to help me out.

He is motivated “to help young adults who are struggling with addiction turn their lives around,” and to serve in his community by furthering his education. After he receives his Bachelor’s Degree, he intends to continue his studies at the graduate level, and become a licensed addiction counselor, write a book about his own journey to recovery, and inspire other people with substance use disorders to seek out help.

Phil applied for the Ammon Foundation Scholarship because he knew his application would be read carefully by someone who wanted to help him in his journey, and that his history of addiction would be viewed as an obstacle he had overcome, rather than a risk, burden, or moral failure.  The Ammon Foundation wants to make higher education more accessible for individuals in recovery like Phil. To learn more about us, or to apply for a scholarship, please visit our website.