What’s your favourite local restaurant?
Definitely Eat Clean.
Amber-Jane Wall came to Fort McMurray with her family from Smithers, British Columbia when she was just three-years-old. They came to Fort McMurray for work opportunities like many people were doing at the time. Her family moved in with an aunt when they arrived and stayed there for a few months. A series of unfortunate circumstances set Amber on a bad path early in her life.
When she was very young, Amber was dealing with situations beyond her years. Amber’s mother was not a part of her life, and her father was struggling with substance abuse. As her father struggled with his issues, Amber and her brother went through it with him. Amber remembers being about 13 when she became homeless, struggling with her own addiction issues. A few years later, Amber’s father and brother both left Fort McMurray, leaving her alone. Amber calls this time in her life her rock bottom, causing her to seek out help. Amber was given guidance through Stepping Stones Youth Services, which led her to stable housing through Social Services. She started working and attending school, and began to turn her life around.
Amber remembers that when she would drink, she would get mad. One of the social workers she was working with noticed this and thought that Amber needed an outlet for her anger. This is how she started boxing. Now she has been boxing for four years and teaching classes for two. She has participated in three amateur fights and won them all. “Boxing is just as much a mental effort as it is a physical effort. Boxing has helped me gain confidence and discipline in my life.”
Things are looking up for Amber these days. Today, on top of coaching boxing, she is a Youth Coordinator at the Nistawoyou Friendship Centre developing and implementing programming. She is also planning on starting at Keyano College, to study Business. “I am very thankful and grateful for everything I have now and I want to pass it on… I have a whole new perspective…”