Celebrating our Graduates:  Amanda Tennyson

Celebrating our Graduates: Amanda Tennyson

| By: Haase, Elijah D

Career Program: Substance Use Disorder Counseling
Originally From: Little Chute
Current Residence: Little Chute
Age: 38
Years of Attendance at FVTC: Spring 2018



Why did you choose to study this field?

I wanted to help others who struggle with substance use. With my lived experience, I know that it is possible to recover and become successful. I wanted to help others see the light and realize that our past doesn't define our future.

Tell us how you came to choose FVTC for your education.

When I was looking into where I wanted to attend college, I toured FVTC and everyone was so kind and welcoming. I had heard great things about the college, and I quickly learned that all the good things were true. They helped me enroll, take my Accuplacer, navigate financial aid and got me started.

What's been the most rewarding part of your educational journey at FVTC?

Because of this program, I am able to better serve my community and help those who struggle with substance use. And because of Jeremiah Olson, I have been invited to come in and educate the first-year substance use disorder counselors about my current work on harm reduction. Also the connections and friends I have made along the way.

What was the most difficult part?

Living life on life's terms! Trying to manage being a parent, working 2-3 jobs, and an internship while still in classes, all at the same time.

What will you do on graduation day or in the future to celebrate graduation?

I will be having dinner and celebrating with friends after the ceremony. There will also be a get-together with my friends and family to celebrate my accomplishments.

Tell us about your plans after graduation.

I plan to continue school to work toward a Master's in Social Work. I would like to work with people who suffer from mental health and substance use disorder.

One last parting thought or words of wisdom to share with others.

People who use drugs live in enough shame and regret; they don't need others making them feel even worse. Always be open-minded, it might just save someone's life. We do recover and we can be successful, I am living proof! Help stop the stigma and discrimination against people who use drugs. Our past doesn't define our future, we can use our lived experiences to help others. Mental health is real and it doesn't discriminate. You never know what someone is going through, be kind, be compassionate, be the change you want to see in the world!