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AspenRidge Recovery launches diversity scholarship for minorities battling addiction

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. — AspenRidge Recovery, an addiction recovery center located in Lakewood, is launching a new diversity scholarship program, hoping to help minorities in need of addiction help.

During the beginning of the pandemic, many treatment programs scaled back their offerings due to COVID-19 restrictions and limitations.

Now, during a time when social distancing is encouraged, isolation can also have devastating impacts, so AspenRidge is trying to broaden its reach and help those in need.

“Anybody who is seeking services needs to have access, and we’ve always been committed to creating an environment where folks feel welcome,” said AspenRidge Recovery Chief Clinical Officer Dianna Sandoval.

Sandoval said the diversity scholarship launched in 2020 in response to the civil unrest the country experienced.

The scholarship pays for 100% of any level of treatment.

Sandoval said so far, AspenRidge has not received many applications and the team is working to get the word out.

“The value of it is about $33,000 and it’s really there to extend the invitation for anybody to get services who needs it,” Sandoval said.

Within the past year, AspenRidge has given out $323,000 in other scholarship categories.

One of the recipients, 27-year-old Kayla Winter, credits a scholarship for the 90-day treatment program that saved her life.

“I was homeless, and I pretty much was just surrounded by this huge cloud of darkness that I did not know how to get out of,” she said.

Winter has battled an addiction to alcohol since she was 17 years old.

“With COVID-19, it was so hard to get into treatment and so I used my resources," she said. "I had a recovery coach at that time who was able to get me a scholarship into AspenRidge.”

Winter said she couldn’t imagine going through the pandemic without recovery help.

“I would probably not be here today,” she said.

Winter said she is sure others may feel that way and that the scholarship could be just the motivation they need to change their lives.

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