They may be no one more qualified than Amanda Marino to assist alongside her clients’ recovery journeys. As a survivor of childhood trauma herself, Amanda has had a varied career and life journey, taking her through acting, modeling, hip-hop dancing, and motherhood. Presently, with her partner Black Cohen, Amanda runs Next Level Recovery Associates Inc, an organization that aims to fill the many gaps that are oftentimes left by traditional treatment models or therapeutic interventions. They offer their clients substance use disorder interventions, recovery, family, and life coaching, case management services, public speaking and education services regarding substance use and mental health, sober companion and transport services, and more.
“Our goal is to help the entire family system reach the next level in their lives while offering support, accountability, guidance, and expertise. We have a large team that can help us address the various individual needs of our unique clients,” Amanda says.
As a certified intervention professional, certified life and recovery coach, Amanda is utmostly motivated to help others thrive. After starting her company in the start of 2020 and incorporating in March, they have grown tremendously and have been fortunate enough to help many families. In a year where many people have lost everything, Next Level Recovery Associates has built something beautiful and been able to help people get their life back in the time where people need it most.
“I love being able to show others there is hope, a way out and walk the journey with the individual who is suffering and their family. I love being in the trenches, helping families who are desperate and have nowhere to turn. We saw a need for a younger generation to step into this part of the field, be mentored, follow what works and add innovative ideas. Blake and I are both extremely passionate about what we do,” Amanda outlines.
While many would be wary to start a business during the pandemic, Amanda was well equipped to start her own venture. Her business needed to constantly pivot as they were starting and setting up policies and procedures.
“We were already utilizing tools such as zoom, prior and really began to lean on them more. It was beneficial for us to make a national brand on social media, with everyone online constantly,” Amanda says.
Working in an industry that thrives on networking and connection is difficult in a time where we cannot safely spend time in person together. Instead, Amanda took the initiative to create networking opportunities online, using Zoom calls to highlight professionals who the company works with.
“It has been a series of constant change, growth, and pivoting. We have always put the safety of our clients and their families first. We consider ourselves to be essential workers, and have been working with families in person with proper COVID protocols,” Amanda says.
After working in the behavioral health space for more than a decade, hands-on with countless clients, Amanda is well qualified with lots of experience to run her business. Inspired to go more into the industry to help more people, she saw the need for the next generation to step up, learn from the best in the business and create something of their own.
“We pride ourselves on our professionalism, communication, skill sets that compliment one another and going the extra mile to assure the proper plan for our clients. There are so many moving pieces to this, and we take our time to address each situation, bring in the right professionals and create an impact that changes lives,” Amanda says.
With the experience needed to support her own business, Amanda is able to pass along the lessons she has learned to others hoping to launch into entrepreneurship. She encourages others to make a plan, take their time, and get a clear vision.
“Start manifesting your vision. Walk through your fears, own them and let them go. Believe in yourself. Detach from anyone who isn’t aligned with your personal growth. Many people want to start their own business, and never follow through with it. Follow your heart and passion, rather than chase the dollar. If you are living your life’s purpose, the finances will come. Chasing money over passion just doesn’t do it for me,” Amanda says.