This year’s Grammys may have been tinged with sadness with the untimely passing of pop icon Whitney Houston, but it also brings promise of a bright future for a young teenager recovering from substance abuse.
Amanda R., a 17-year-old teen who is recovering from substance abuse, won an annual music contest sponsored by the MusiCares Program of the Grammy Foundation, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
The Substance Abuse Awareness Through Music Contest called for teens to create a music video or original composition that either celebrates a healthy and creative lifestyle, or accurately portrays the dangers of drug abuse.
Amanda R. wrote and recorded a song entitled “Like a Phoenix” at the Phoenix House Academy of Los Angeles, where she is currently involved in a substance abuse recovery program.
The song recounts how the teen rose above her troubles, and Amanda shares that it has helped her “reach new heights.” She shared: “Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to become a singer, but with the drug problems I had, I hit rock bottom and I felt like I would never get out.”
Prizes for the contest included being given the opportunity to privately view artists’ rehearsals for Sunday’s Grammy Awards, as well as a private tour of the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. Amanda will present the winning song and attend various public events throughout the year.
Amanda shared further: “Winning this competition is inspiring for me and hopefully for others who you know have gone through what I have… This is just crazy and I never thought I would get to this place.”