In fall 2013, I graduated with a 3.78 GPA. I was accepted into graduate school, thanks to the awesome support I got from Georgia Southern and CAR. Upon graduation I vowed to come up with a way to help give back and was able to do that with some help from my sobriety network.

On March 23, 2014, my six-year sobriety date, I rode a bicycle from San Diego, California, to Charleston, South Carolina, which is my hometown and where I would attend graduate school in the summer. Along the 3,100-mile journey, I stopped at 27 different colleges, treatment centers, recovery residences and detention centers and told my story of recovery and how Collegiate Recovery Programs (CRPs) like CAR gave me the support I needed to succeed. I did not have to choose between recovery and an education, and found both from my Collegiate Recovery Program. I was able to raise money for my alma mater, decrease stigma, and also attracted the attention of a local federal judge who contacted me upon my arrival back to Charleston to form a plan to bring a CRP to the College of Charleston.

I am very proud to say that I have been able to play a part in bringing the first CRP to the state of South Carolina. I would never have imagined eight years ago that a four-time college dropout such as myself would be attending the Medical University of South Carolina pursuing a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and helping implement and fundraise for sober resources for college students.

I am truly blessed to have been given the gift of recovery. I know that my experiences were for a greater purpose, and I hope my story is a testament that recovery exists and is possible for people who want it badly enough.

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