Best Friend’s Death Inspires College Scholarship For Women in recovery

By Joe Capozzi
The Palm Beach Post, Fla.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) With a boost from four colleagues in recovery, Amanda Marino channeled the grief over the death of her friend into an ambitious mission: Raising money to send women in recovery to college, a dream her friend could never fulfill because of her struggle with addiction.

The Palm Beach Post, Fla.

They were best friends since childhood, sticking together through good times and bad — from sleepovers, school dances and concerts to helping each other through their struggles with drug addiction.

Amanda Marino went into recovery in 2007. She says she has been clean ever since. Her best friend, Kimberly Kinkle, fought hard to get sober. She was eight months clean when she relapsed and died on Dec. 16, 2015, after an accidental overdose.

“I held her hand when they took her off life-support,” Marino recalled. “That night, I went running to clear my head. I remember crying and thinking, ‘I have to do something in her honor to help people.'”

With a boost from four colleagues in recovery, Marino channeled her grief into an ambitious mission: Raising money to send women in recovery to college, a dream Kinkle could never fulfill because of her struggles.

The first Kimberly Kinkle Scholarship will be awarded to a Palm Beach State University student Wednesday at a ceremony at the Hanley Center at Origins in West Palm Beach. Handing out the $3,000 scholarship will be Kim’s parents, Al and Debbie Kinkle.

“I think it’s fantastic,” said Al Kinkle, who has launched his own charity in his daughter’s memory. “Amanda’s got the right thought in mind. I am so grateful for what they’re doing. I think we need to do that and more.”

Marino’s non-profit group, Women Empowering Women, hopes to give out $3,000 Palm Beach State scholarships every semester through donations collected at bimonthly events that feature speakers from the recovery industry.

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