Hope is Found Here
The Leadership Summit itself kicked off on Friday night with opening remarks welcoming the students, followed by a lively roll call of schools in attendance, with students cheering in response. Randy Judycki, of Austin Ascents Guide Service, and an expert guide and outdoor educator, led an interactive workshop called “Style and Leadership: What Kind of Leader Are You?” Ten groups of students rotated through experiential teamwork tasks and leadership roles. The students were invited to explore the various types of leadership styles they experienced in their groups and the ways that each style contributes to or impacts group dynamics and success. Sixteen students assisted with leading the workshop after taking part in a training with Judycki earlier in that day.
Saturday night’s program was emceed by Andrew Burki, the CEO of Life of Purpose Treatment. He opened the evening by reflecting on the opportunity that collegiate recovery provides to connect with a sense of purpose and how essential this can be to successful long-term recovery.
This set the stage for Saturday night’s Alumni Keynote Speakers – Mechie Scherpereel, an alum of the Texas Tech University CRC who currently works as alumni coordinator with The Ranch at Dove Tree, followed by Ariel Britt, a University of Michigan CRC alum who is now program coordinator of the Kennesaw State University CRC. Both shared powerful stories about the challenges they faced in achieving recovery and completing their educations. They expressed how the support they received by their collegiate recovery community to complete their education was vital to their long-term success. Britt also spoke about the vital need to increase recovery support and opportunity through education for people of color.
Next up was the 6-Minute Storytelling Challenge. During breakfast on Friday and Saturday, Jason Whitney led storytelling workshops to help students prepare for the event. Seven names were drawn from a hat to tell their stories on Saturday night. The speakers included Maddie and Ian from The College of New Jersey (who prepared a musical performance); Isabelle from the University of Colorado; Terry from Texas Tech University; Mike from Texas Tech University; Sean from Colorado State University; and Robert, a University of Colorado alum.
The summit was capped by Scott Strode, Founder and CEO of Phoenix Multisport, who delivered the closing keynote. Scott related how his own experience as a young man overcoming struggles with childhood trauma and addiction led him to create Phoenix Multisport – a supportive, physically active community that helps individuals develop and maintain the emotional strength they need to recover from substance use disorders. His message of service, leadership and the importance of helping others inspired everyone to their feet with a standing ovation. CU Collegiate Recovery Center Director Danny Conroy then led everyone in a closing circle, with all 200 attendees linked arm in arm for a moment of silence and gratitude to close the summit.