A Second Chance Was All She Needed
Monday, Dec 18, 2023

With three goals in mind, Pamela Zahn conquered the odds and is now graduating with her Addictions Counseling Certificate. Zahn never let her past stop her from becoming the person she knew she would be. As a recovering alcoholic and drug addict for six years, she reflects on her past in a positive light and views it as a measure of how far she has come. 

Imprisoned for over three years, Pamela had plenty of time to develop her life goals. She is determined to utilize the lessons learned from her past as a sign that she is meant to grow and progress. After her release, Pamela spent a year getting acclimated to her new life and straight into her first goal of kicking her addiction for good. She continues pursuing that goal by staying sober and reminding herself to take things day by day, month by month. 

Pamela volunteers at the Friends of the Burlington County Animal Shelter and loves helping those without a voice. Volunteering influenced her choice of career path as well. But her animal advocacy doesn’t end with animals. She stepped into broader community volunteer roles, including Soles4Souls, an organization that collects secondhand clothing for good use, providing relief and empowering people to break the cycle of poverty.

Next up for Pamela’s community outreach was joining the RCBC Human Services Club, where she serves as the student organization’s president. As president, she works with other students to help provide food and continue outreach. Pamela introduced a new initiative, Power to the Period, providing women in need in Burlington County with feminine hygiene products.  

Her final goal was to return to college, and here she is! Pamela shared that RCBC was the perfect fit for her higher education because of its affordability, convenience and all of the assistance provided to students by caring faculty and supportive staff. As of December 2023, Pamela has accomplished much more than she could believe. She’s an honors student and Academic Award recipient, president of the Human Services club and a speaker at the first-ever RCBC Winter Commencement. 

Her long-term plans include completing her Addictions Counseling Certificate (SPC.HSA), and  In May, she will graduate with her Liberal Arts degree in Human Services (AAS.HUS). When asked how she stayed on track and motivated, Pamela said, “Everything happens for a reason. Just take things one step at a time.”