Anne Bush Ambrose had a hero, her father Avner Bush, a school superintendent in South Georgia. Anne strived to be like him, especially in the way he helped others. From the beginning, service has been at the heart of Anne’s life, and her sense of mission has sustained her through significant personal tragedy.
In her twenties, she organized a Tutorial Program for disadvantaged students in the Gainesville City Schools, and she volunteered with the Department of Family and Children’s Services to find foster homes for neglected children. At age 29, she went to Peru to serve as relief director of an orphanage. There tragedy struck and she was shot through the spine and paralyzed. Since then she has continued to live an extraordinary life, serving others from a wheelchair.
In her thirties, Anne taught students who required special services and served as volunteer counselor-in-training in a church outreach program. After earning a master’s degree at Brenau University, she studied with renowned therapists, opened a practice in psychotherapy and consulted in several addiction treatment centers in Georgia. She also designed and implemented a House Arrest Program for convicted drug users, earning the Liberty Bell Award, the state’s highest for outstanding service to the justice system.
In her forties, Anne founded Metropolitan Serenity House Inc. in 1989, an innovative treatment center for young men addicted to drugs and alcohol. She founded Avner Bush Academy, a drug free, private high school, accredited in 1996, for the residents of Serenity House.
In her fifties, she continued to serve as Executive Director of Serenity House, a nonprofit institution, served as Head of Avner Bush Academy, the private high school that serves residents of Serenity House, and worked tirelessly with young men with substance abuse problems, creating opportunity for each to fulfill his potential. Many of these young men are now men of integrity, contributing to their communities and enjoying healthy relationships. Their families have benefited enormously from the family therapy they experienced under Anne’s care.
Currently, she serves as Chairman of the Board for the organization she founded. She continues to work with families suffering from the disease of addiction. She never forgets the young men who have been part of the Serenity House community. When they face challenges, she gives them her personal support, no matter how long they have been gone and for however long they need it.
Anne Bush Ambrose has been a lifelong volunteer hero. With courage and creativity, she is still helping young men, their parents, sisters and brothers, and even their significant others to heal relationships, discover their true values, and become their best selves. Anne’s father would be proud.