Jeffrey Hanley: From Jail to the Dean’s List

April 26, 2019

Jeffrey Hanley is a 26-year-old student who describes himself as having two different lives, the one before recovery and the one after.  During addiction, Jeffrey was homeless, hopeless, a felon and suffered severely from substance use disorder.  In the darkness of his addiction, Jeffrey says he was miserable and wanted to die.  

“The pictured to the left was me in the midst of heavy cocaine and crack addiction and occasional heroin use, strung out 150 lbs, hating my life and miserable,”  Jeffrey said. He was dying on the inside, numb to life and going “no-where fast.” But that wasn’t the end of his story – he found recovery. 

In recovery, Jeffrey lives a new life.  He describes a peace of mind and happiness that was unimaginable to him before. He faced the legal consequences and took responsibility.  He has gained his family back. He went to treatment and is on a career path to becoming a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC). Jeffrey attended Sussex County Community  College where he earned his Associates Degree on Business Management and ended with a 3.5 GPA. He made the Deans List and was inducted in the National Honors Society. During his last semester, he was the recipient of the Ammon Education Award, a scholarship that was matched by Ammon and Sussex County Community College Foundation.  Jeffrey, like many students, was paying for his tuition out of pocket. He said he was ecstatic to be able to receive the scholarship for being a student in recovery. Shortly after getting word of the scholarship, Jeffrey joined the Ammon Foundation at their first Leadership Summit, Recovery Out Loud.

Today, Jeffrey is four years in long-term recovery.  “I am healthy and happy and I do whatever it takes to help the next person who needs it.”  Jeffrey is committed to sharing his story to break the stigma often associated with the disease of addiction.  He also wanted to share his story and encourage students in recovery attending Sussex County Community College to apply for the same scholarship that helped him during his final semester.

Our blog features the profiles of other recipients of the scholarship award, as well as information about how to apply.