ALAMOSA — Teenage columnist and advocate for “Kids Like Me” Amarah received a standing ovation Wednesday night at the Alamosa city council meeting when the city issued a proclamation in recognition of her hard work and dedication to helping others and the community.
Thinking she was attending the meeting to provide an update on her work, Amarah was totally surprised by the recognition.
“You do so many wonderful things in our community touching the lives of so many people,” Alamosa Mayor Ty Coleman told Amarah. “By your writing in the newspaper you reach so many people and give them hope, and sometimes all people need is a little bit of hope … I can truly see you do that.”
Amarah, the survivor of childhood neglect and abuse who now lives with her grandmother, writes a weekly column, Amarah’s Corner “Kids Like Me” where she addresses issues of addiction and shares stories of addicts and recovery. She also founded “Hope For Kids Like Me,” a nonprofit organization that has reached out to other youth who are children of addicts like Amarah is. Amarah has conducted an annual food, clothing and toy drive for “Kids Like Me” at Christmastime.
The city council presented Amarah a plaque with the proclamation on it as well as a plaque from Amarah’s foundation board.
“Amarah has committed to helping children and adults who have suffered or are suffering from abuse and neglect due to drug addition, use of alcohol, and bullying,” the proclamation stated.
“Amarah spends an enormous amount of her time, energy, and dedication to helping people in our community … Amarah continues to keep her focus on helping others heal by providing resources, bibles, and holding toy, food and warm clothing drives.”
Amarah thanked the council and said she felt like she had done so little, partially because of the words spoken to her when she was young that made her feel less valuable.
Alamosa councilors affirmed her value and told her she was making a difference in people’s lives including their own.
Alamosa Councilor Liz Hensley said she felt blessed to have become Amarah’s friend and has gone to lunch with her and hung out with her. She said she knew Amarah had been through some hard things but has given so much to others, and she wanted her to know “how awesome you are.”
She added that Amarah has many talents. “We are blessed as a community to have you here.”
Hensley concluded, “I know you are going to go far in life. I feel blessed that our paths have crossed.”
Councilman David Broyles thanked Amarah for her leadership, and Councilman Charles Griego added his words to the mayor’s that Amarah was giving hope to others, and he thanked her for spending time to help others.
Councilor Kristina Daniel said she knew some of the people Amarah had featured in her columns and knew how much it meant to them. “You change their lives by asking them to contribute to your column. Thank you for your work and all the hope and love you bring to our community.”
Amarah thanked the council and said it was not just her but all those who were also willing to share their stories.
Those on hand to recognize Amarah for her good work in the community included Alamosa County Sheriff Robert Jackson.