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Alumni Team

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Julie Toy

Julie Toy

Alumni Coordinator for Devon

Julie’s journey with RCA started in October 2018 when she came through our doors as a patient. She describes her life as being turned completely around through the treatment she received at RCA and when she was introduced to the Alumni Association. She immediately got involved and in service as an alumni volunteer. In November 2019, she took a leap of faith leaving behind an accounting career and began her journey as an employee working as a Patient Specialist in the Mission Center. Quickly, she advanced to Associate Treatment Advisor, then to Treatment Advisor. When the opportunity came to onboard with the Alumni Team, she says for her, “it was a no brainer because this is where my passion has been all along.” As a person in recovery, Julie’s hunger to help others is unmeasurable and she will gladly fight alongside anyone struggling and their loved ones to help them get to the freedom she was so freely given.

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In your opinion, why do you believe an alumni program is so important for those who want to achieve long term recovery?

I believe in the mission of RCA and the alumni is another tool in the toolbelt. It allows people to come back to where it all started and gives a sense of another place to call home. The Alumni, not only offers a ton of meetings, but it continues to provide a safe community while teaching people how to have fun in recovery and the freedom that recovery brings. It’s a place where we can make this community our own. To have a sense of belonging and to feel apart of.

What is your favorite quote, and why?

“Shining your light on the road ahead can help bring others through the darkness.” I love this quote. I myself have been in darkness before and I thank God every day for putting people in my life who shined their light to guide me out of that darkness and now I do the same for others.

Why do you choose to work as an Alumni Coordinator for RCA?

I choose to work in this role because it is where my passion is. I have had the privilege of being an active volunteer of the Alumni Association for a few years, and I got to see firsthand the positive impact it has on people walking back into their lives after much suffering and having to relearn life all over again. This is a crucial part in recovery, teaching others about sober fun in recovery and exposing them to things they either forgot they once enjoyed or had no idea they even enjoyed certain activities. It is also a beautiful and safe community like I have never seen before.

What do you enjoy most about the work that you do? Working with others and seeing the light turn on inside them. There is no greater gift then to see life return to their eyes. Seeing someone laugh again, to see them free, to see them love and be loved. Watching them get rooted in their recovery and know they are worth and deserving of it.

Rae Andrews

Rae Andrews

Alumni Coordinator for St. Charles

Rae graduated in 2012 from Mercyhurst University with a bachelor’s degree in social work and a minor in criminal justice. As a full-time student, she also worked full-time at a MAT clinic where she was promoted to an MAT counselor and held that position for several years. Since then, she has worked in the drug and alcohol field as a drug and alcohol counselor at various agencies including a women’s state prison and on a drug court team. Rae also spent time in the mental health field serving as a case manager assisting with crisis intervention as well as reintegrating people back into daily living from residential. In April 2022, Rae joined the Alumni Team at RCA putting her passion for helping individuals with substance use disorder not only find recovery, but love life in recovery. In her personal time, Rae enjoys playing basketball, hockey, fishing, hiking, doing puzzles, and anything involving Star Wars.
In your opinion, why do you believe an alumni program is so important for those who want to achieve long term recovery?

I believe an alumni program is important for long term recovery because it helps cultivate those long-term relationships with sober friends doing sober activities that can be difficult to find and achieve. We want to give people safe places to go and have safe activities to do with people they feel close to and can build long lasting supportive relationships with, and alumni program helps you achieve all of that.

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What is your favorite quote, and why?

“You have seen my decent, now watch my rising” – Rumi. This is my favorite quote because it delivers a powerful message – no matter how much we’ve been through, no matter what we have come from we can still rise, we can still overcome.

What are the major driving forces in your life?

The major driving forces in my life are the people that are personally affected by addiction as well as my personal drive to want to eliminate deaths from overdose. Addiction has personally affected those very close to me and unfortunately, I have lost loved ones. So, if there was ever a reason to get up every morning, this is mine – to fight to end overdose and to bring awareness to addiction and the disease. Another driving force is my determination. Coming from so little, to be here today means a great deal to me.

If you could send a message to family, friends and loved ones of those with a substance use disorder, what would it be?

Have patience, be kind, be mindful, ask for help, and educate yourself on the disease of addiction. Having an understanding of substance use disorder will allow you to better understand your loved ones and the struggles they are going through.

Why do you choose to work as an Alumni Coordinator for RCA?

I chose to work as an Alumni Coordinator for RCA because I wanted to assist in building those lasting relationships in recovery. I wanted to know what happens after inpatient and see where I could make a difference in building a safe and stable recovery network for people.

Jay Melito

Jay Melito

Alumni Coordinator at Raritan Bay

If you would like to get in contact with Jay regarding alumni volunteer opportunities, events, or meetings for RCA at Raritan Bay, please email jmelito@recoverycoa.com.

Jay has worked in treatment for 7 years and joined the RCA team at Raritan Bay in June of 2021 as Patient Engagement Specialist, moving into the 12 Step Recovery Instructor position in a short time. Educating patients on how to effectively work a program of action, treating the mind, body and spirit. Jay’s passion for recovery and understanding of the importance in developing a strong sober network is what led him to the position of Regional Alumni Coordinator where he can support patients and their families throughout their journey to achieving long term recovery.

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Why do you choose to work as an Alumni Coordinator for RCA?

As Raritan Bay’s Alumni Relations Coordinator, I have the privilege of being a part of our patients continued growth through the recovery process, being accessible to them for guidance and support to be able to help them with the challenges of being newly sober and giving them the ability to get and stay connected to a sober support network.

What is your favorite quote, and why?

“All great changes are preceded by chaos.” – Deepak Chopra

The universe has a way of shaking things up, it causes me to choose a path that may be out of my comfort zone, it is there that I find that we must challenge ourselves, adapt and move through. It is there that the new and exciting wonders of life show themselves.

In your opinion, why do you believe an alumni program is so important for those who want to achieve long-term recovery?

In my experience as a person in recovery I believe connection is everything. RCA’s Alumni Association bridges the gap from our facilities to many modalities of recovery as well as helping the patient build and maintain the relationships that they formed while in the early stages of the recovery process.

Bob Gibson

Bob Gibson

Alumni Coordinator at Devon

Bob has worked for RCA Devon since June of 2019, initially starting as an RSS. He then became a Lead RSS and eventually moved into the Recovery Instructor position before becoming an Alumni Coordinator. Bob has a strong passion for 12-step recovery and helping patients to navigate their own path and have their own recovery experience.

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What is your favorite quote, and why?

“If you want something you have never had before, you have to do something you have never done before.”  I like this quote because applies so well to not just my own life, but I can’t think of too many situations that it doesn’t apply to.

What are the major driving forces in your life?

Honestly, nothing brings me serenity like being of use to other people. That’s what I strive for in my professional and personal life. I was very selfish most of my life, but today I have the opportunity and the knowledge to act as the exact opposite and help others.

If you could send a message to family, friends and loved ones of those with a substance use disorder, what would it be?

Do not forget about your own mental health and well-being while trying to work through your loved one’s addiction. There are many resources available to support the family and loved ones of people suffering from addiction. Use them. You are not alone.

Why do you choose to work as an Alumni Coordinator for RCA?

In all my roles at RCA, except for this one, my relationships with our patients ended when they left treatment. In this role I am afforded the opportunity to be a resource to our alumni for the long haul.

What do you enjoy most about the work that you do?

Being able to carry a message of hope to people that need it is an honor and a privilege and brings me a great amount of joy. There is nothing more exciting than getting to watch people become the best versions of themselves.

Jill Showers

Jill Showers

Alumni Coordinator at Lighthouse

Jill Showers serves as an Alumni Coordinator at Lighthouse. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Richard Stockton University with her goal of obtaining a master’s degree and becoming a Licensed Addiction Counselor.

Jill began her career in the substance abuse field at Lighthouse in 2018. In March of 2022, Jill joined the Alumni team after holding several positions in the facility including Lead Recovery Support Specialist, Admissions Counselor, Admissions Patient Engagement Specialist, and Utilization Review Coordinator.

Jill is an alumna of Lighthouse and enjoys giving back to the recovery community not only in a professional capacity but also on a personal level. She relocated to the Atlantic County area in 2016 and has been involved in several of the local community groups in the area. Jill has a passion for reading, spending time with her puppy and spending time with her family and friends.

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In your opinion, why do you believe an alumni program is so important for those who want to achieve long-term recovery? 

Connection and fellowship are vital to sustaining long-term recovery. Through providing fun activities and service opportunities alumni programs strengthen bonds with a community who truly understand the unique situations and feelings an individual experiences after leaving treatment and during the continuation of their journey in sobriety. Connecting Alumni to our clients currently attending our inpatient programming is especially important as it shows recovery is possible for everyone.

What is your favorite quote, and why? 

“The great thing in this world is not so much where you stand as what direction you are moving.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

This quote has always resonated with me, throughout all aspects of my life. It raises the question – “What am I doing to move forward today?” which continues to motivate me to achieve my goals not only in my recovery but also in my personal and professional life.

What are the major driving forces in your life? 

Faith in something greater than myself and the relationships I have cultivated drive me in my daily life. Belief in a higher purpose and a plan have guided me for many years. The love and support of my family and friends have led me through not only the great times but the uncertain times as well.

Michelle Lajara

Michelle Lajara

Alumni Coordinator at Danvers

Michelle Lajara Graduated from Salem State University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Law. While at Salem State, she was president of the Latino American Student Organization and rules committee chair for the student government. She worked at the gym on campus and the Alumni affairs and events office. After graduation, Michelle went back home to Lawrence, Massachusetts and entered the nonprofit world while working at Greater Lawrence Family Health Center. It was there that she developed a passion and commitment to helping those struggling with addiction and finding life in recovery.

Michelle’s interests outside of work include candle making, playing with her dog, Sax, traveling, and trying new recipes to share with friends and family. Michelle has a past in musical theater, ballet, and fine arts.

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Why do you choose to work as an Alumni Coordinator for RCA?

The Alumni Coordinator role merges two passions for me – programming and recovery services. As someone who has lost loved ones to addiction, I look forward to treating those around me with the same respect and dignity I would hope for my loved ones while on this journey to recovery. I can’t think of a more fulfilling opportunity than this one.

What is your favorite quote, and why?

“It is our duty to fight for our freedom, it is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” – Assata Shakur

A controversial but revolutionary woman in her own right, Assata touched on important points in this quote. The point I most identify with is “we must love and support each other; we have nothing to lose but our chains.” It takes a village to raise more than a child, and when that village comes together to overcome obstacles, with love and support, there is no peak we can’t reach nor is there any limit to what we can do.

What are the major driving forces in your life?

The major driving forces in my life are my family, the generation of latinx folks coming behind me who will help shape the future, those who came before me, and the promise I have made myself to live life and do good.

What do you hope to accomplish as an Alumni Coordinator?

I hope to hold space where folks are treated with kindness, respect and dignity. A place where they have the support they need whenever they need it and a friendly face, they can always count on to be rooting for them to win. I hope to be an agent of change and encourage stigma-eliminating connections and education the community around RCA.

Jill DeMaio

Jill DeMaio

Alumni Operations Coordinator

If you would like to get in contact with Jill, please email j.demaio@recoverycoa.com.

Jill DeMaio graduated from Penn State University in 2019, and immediately entered the non-profit sector as a Special Events Associate for the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. There, she was able to develop skills in volunteer management, fundraising, and ultimately developed a passion for helping those in need. In March of 2022, Jill joined the Alumni Team at RCA as the Alumni Operations Coordinator based out of our corporate office in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

Jill currently holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with Minors in English and Political Science. She relocated to Philadelphia from Washington, DC in 2021 to be closer to family. She has a passion for fitness & exercise, binge-watching TV shows, listening to music, and being a positive force everywhere she goes.

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In your opinion, why do you believe an alumni program is so important for those who want to achieve long-term recovery?

An alumni program like RCA’s is so important because recovery continues after discharge. We want to ensure all of those who have gone through treatment have a sense of comfort, feel they’re not alone, and ultimately have the resources to thrive in their day-to-day lives. There is a community here, ready to welcome you in with open arms and remind you that you are not alone in this. The Alumni Program at RCA ensures everyone has a seat at the table, no matter what stage of recovery they might be in.

What is your favorite quote, and why?

My favorite quote is “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Everyone can make a positive impact, whether it be big or small. Leading with kindness & compassion is a great place to start.

What are the major driving forces in your life?

I am driven by a supportive family, amazing and loyal friends, a girlfriend that changed my life, and my two cats, Peach & Poppy. These pieces of my puzzle get me out of bed every day and remind me to work hard, stay passionate, and make me want to have a strong impact on the world.

If you could send a message to family, friends and loved ones of those with a substance use disorder, what would it be?

If I could share one message to family, friends and loved ones of someone struggling with substance use disorder, I’d remind them that they are NOT alone in this. This can be an isolating experience, so please know that you have RCA in your corner. We are here to listen, support, provide resources, and help you find comfort in this difficult time.

What do you enjoy most about the work that you do?

The fact that I wake up every day and come to a place that is both changing & saving lives is something I do not take lightly. Above everything else, RCA cares about the people who walk through their doors. To be a part of an organization that keeps the work focused on the well-being of patients, families, loved ones, and more is my favorite thing about the work I do!

Loreal Hamilton

Loreal Hamilton

Alumni Coordinator at Capital Region

If you would like to get in contact with Loreal regarding alumni volunteer opportunities, events, or meetings for RCA at Capital Region, please email lohamilton@recoverycoa.com.

Loreal is an Air Force Veteran. She is passionate about helping others and inspiring them in their recovery journey. She has an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health. Most recently, she worked for Blinded Veteran’s Association assisting Veteran’s in accessing services of all kinds.

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What do you hope to accomplish as an Alumni Coordinator?

As Capital Region’s Alumni Relations Coordinator, my goal is to establish an active Alumni community that provides a safe, welcoming, and supportive space to experience recovery and all it can offer. It is my hope that the Capital Regional Alumni will help break down the stigma associated with seeking treatment and pursuing recovery.

In your opinion, why do you believe an alumni program is so important for those who want to achieve long-term recovery?

The Alumni Association exists to help alumni achieve long-term recovery by providing a network of engaged individuals who encourage one another and ensure no one feels they have to do the work of sobriety on their own. I am also an advocate for helping families understand the disease of addiction and the systemic issues it causes within the family unit.

What do you enjoy most about the work that you do?

This position allows me to meet people at all aspects of their recovery journey. Whether they are on Step One, Step Twelve, or living in active daily recovery it is my goal to meet them where they are to encourage and give back to others.

What is your favorite quote, and why?

My favorite quote – “We Delight In The Beauty Of The Butterfly, But Rarely Admit The Changes It Has Gone Through To Achieve That Beauty”. – Maya Angelou

This quote makes me remember to take a big-picture view when looking at individuals and develop compassion at every stage in their journey.

Vincent Douglas

Vincent Douglas

Alumni Coordinator at Bracebridge Hall

If you would like to get in contact with Vince regarding alumni volunteer opportunities, events, or meetings for RCA at Bracebridge, please email vdouglas@recoverycoa.com.

Vince joined RCA back in 2018 as a Recovery Instructor and is loved by our patients and his colleagues for his passion and dedication to helping others achieve and maintain recovery.  Prior to working at RCA, he was a peer support specialist at a local county health department.

Vince also enjoys playing sports and coaching youth sports in the area. He also fishes, hikes, loves to travel and always aims to inspire others to reach their fullest potential.

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Why do you choose to work as an Alumni Coordinator for RCA?

I believe in the vision of RCA. The alumni program is another bridge towards the goal of recovery, and to be a part of it is an absolute honor and privilege to be of service to those walking this path.

What is your favorite quote, and why?

“Nothing changes if nothing changes. “Simply because it is a simple reminder that if nothing changes within me, the results that I get will remain the same. Which ultimately places me in a position of willingness to take action in my life, no matter what the issue may be.

What are the major driving forces in your life?

My higher power has placed in me a divine purpose and passion to be of service to anyone who struggles in this life. This driving force was gifted upon me at the lowest spot in my life. A new life was breathed in me that moment; One of life, purpose, passion, service, inspiration, and love. I am grateful for that, so I shall give back and live in a way that proves life is a gift.

If you could send a message to family, friends and loved ones of those with a substance use disorder, what would it be?

There’s hope and it’s contagious. Give it a chance and it will spread into a creation of a life you could not dream of. Give yourself a chance. What do you have to lose? What do you have to gain?

What do you hope to accomplish as an Alumni Coordinator?

My hope is to build a community of support that is there for the next person coming out of treatment into the next step of their recovery, having all shared directly through the same program.

What do you enjoy most about the work that you do?

What I enjoy most about the work I do is seeing LIVES restored. To bear witness to those walking out of the hell that addiction is and to commence towards a life in which will be filled with restoration, for I know it firsthand.

Morgan Werner

Morgan Werner

Alumni Operations Manager

If you would like to get in contact with Morgan, please email mwerner@recoverycoa.com.

Morgan Werner began her career in the Mental Health field, serving as a Mental Health Counselor for over 5 years at a psychiatric hospital for children. She then went on to find a true passion in helping those with the disease of addiction when she went to work for a local treatment center as the Regional Alumni Coordinator. In June of 2020, Morgan joined the Alumni Team as the Alumni Operations Coordinator. Now, Morgan happily serves Recovery Centers of America as the Alumni Operations Manager based out of our corporate office in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

Morgan currently holds a degree in Interpersonal Psychology and is working to complete a second degree in Criminal Justice with a Minor in Public Policy. From there, her goal is to complete a master’s degree in Public Policy to help implement necessary changes that will positively influence the lives of those who have been affected by the system.

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In your opinion, why do you believe an alumni program is so important for those who want to achieve long-term recovery?

Having an alumni program is so vital because it is an essential part of our mission to save one million lives from the disease of addiction and offers continuous support to those who truly want to find a new way of living. Where some treatment centers say goodbye to patients upon discharge, the Alumni Team and our growing community of alumni say ‘welcome, we’re happy you’re here.’ It is a safe, nurturing environment where alumni can connect with one another, share new experiences, and get in service which are three key pieces when we talk about success in recovery.

What is your favorite quote, and why?

My most favorite quote is “When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt. To me, this quote has a lot of meaning. Never quit and never give up are the obvious piece, but also the reference to the knot is what really draws me to this quote. The knot, in essence, means to find something to hold onto – whether it’s an accomplishment or a goal, tying that knot is an act of refocusing on the things we can control when life feels out of control.

What are the major driving forces in your life?

What gets me out of bed is my daughter. Being a parent is one of the single greatest honors I believe we can have in life, and I am so grateful that my higher power gave me that opportunity. I wake up every day with the intention to show my daughter how far hard work and a kind heart will get her.

If you could send a message to family, friends and loved ones of those with a substance use disorder, what would it be?

If I could share one message with loved ones who have someone they care about battling substance use disorder, it would be to keep hope alive and never give up. When we continue to have hope for our loved ones, we leave the door open for them to surrender and accept the help they so willingly deserve.

In your opinion, why do you believe an alumni program is so important for those who want to achieve long term recovery?

Having an alumni program is so vital because it is an essential part of our mission to save one million lives from the disease of addiction and offers continuous support to those who truly want to find a new way of living. Where some treatment centers say goodbye to patients upon discharge, the Alumni Team and our growing community of alumni say ‘welcome, we’re happy you’re here.’ It is a safe, nurturing environment where alumni can connect with one another, share new experiences, and get in service which are three key pieces when we talk about success in recovery.

What is your favorite quote, and why?

My most favorite quote is “When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt. To me, this quote has a lot of meaning. Never quit and never give up are the obvious piece, but also the reference to the knot is what really draws me to this quote. The knot, in essence, means to find something to hold onto – whether it’s an accomplishment or a goal, tying that knot is an act of refocusing on the things we can control when life feels out of control.

What are the major driving forces in your life?

What gets me out of bed is my daughter. Being a parent is one of the single greatest honors I believe we can have in life, and I am so grateful that my higher power gave me that opportunity. I wake up every day with the intention to show my daughter how far hard work and a kind heart will get her.

If you could send a message to family, friends and loved ones of those with a substance use disorder, what would it be?

If I could share one message with loved ones who have someone they care about battling substance use disorder, it would be to keep hope alive and never give up. When we continue to have hope for our loved ones, we leave the door open for them to surrender and accept the help they so willingly deserve.

Jaye Rodenbush

Jaye Rodenbush

Director of Alumni Engagement

Jaye Rodenbush serves as RCA’s Director of Alumni Engagement. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Music and Corporate Communication, a Master’s in Higher Education and a second Master’s in Mental Health Counseling. Jaye is a licensed therapist, writer, speaker, and teacher who enjoys working to help others develop their full potential.

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In your opinion, why do you believe an alumni program is so important for those who want to achieve long-term recovery?

Alumni programs are important because they can help facilitate long-term recovery by providing opportunities for fellowship, fun activities, and service work that promote community and support. The Alumni Association at Recovery Centers of America is especially important for our alumni not only because we allow members to meet new people and have new experiences, but because we start engaging our patients with aftercare the moment they enter treatment.

What is your favorite quote, and why?

“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. My father used this quote a lot and it always spoke to me that good things, things worth doing don’t happen overnight – they take patience and perseverance and may separate you a bit from the crowd.

What are the major driving forces in your life?

I am driven by faith and family. I want to be a part of something bigger than myself. I believe together we can accomplish so much more than we can alone.

Marguerite Warner

Marguerite Warner

Senior Alumni Coordinator at Raritan Bay

If you would like to get in contact with Marguerite regarding alumni volunteer opportunities, events, or meetings for RCA at Raritan Bay, please email mwarner@recoverycoa.com.

Marguerite has worked in treatment for 9 years and joined the RCA team at Raritan Bay in May of 2019 as 12 Step Recovery Instructor. Educating patients on how to effectively work a program of action, treating the Mind, Body and Spirit. Marguerite’s passion for recovery and understanding of the importance in developing a strong sober network is what led her to the position of Regional Alumni Coordinator where she can support patients and their families throughout their journey to achieving long-term recovery.

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What do you hope to accomplish as an Alumni Coordinator?

As Raritan Bay’s Alumni Relations Coordinator, my hope is to guide our patients, alumni, and their families through the process of building a strong support network. While recovery does require work and commitment, we cannot lose site of the joy that comes with embracing a new way of life and having fun along the way.

In your opinion, why do you believe an alumni program is so important for those who want to achieve long-term recovery?

We can do together what we cannot do alone. Addiction breeds isolation, connecting with others focused on their recovery produces Hope and provides the needed strength along the way. Getting involved with Alumni activities and volunteer opportunities builds a strong foundation in recovery.

What do you enjoy most about the work that you do?

Having the opportunity every day to make a difference in another person’s life is what I enjoy the most about my work. Planting the seed of hope and watching it begin to grow is the greatest gift.

What is your favorite quote, and why?

My favorite quote is – “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” Carl Jung

This quote reminds me to look within each day and to live with an awakened Spirit.

Robert Whedbee

Robert Whedbee

Senior Alumni Coordinator at Lighthouse

If you would like to get in contact with Robert regarding alumni volunteer opportunities, events, or meetings for RCA at Lighthouse, please email rwhedbee@recoverycoa.com.

Prior to his work at RCA, Bob served three years in the US Army, and upon discharge, he started his own successful business in construction which he operated for over 20 years. Bob’s passion for helping others along their journey in recovery began when he found himself battling the disease of addiction. In 2016, Bob got sober with the help of RCA, and once he became an alumnus, he happily served as the first chair for the Alumni Association at Lighthouse. In 2017, Bob accepted an offer to work as a driver for RCA and from there he held many positions within RCA including RSS, Clinical Intern, and Recovery Instructor. Now, Bob has truly come full circle in his journey to join the Alumni Team and assist in building the Alumni Program at Lighthouse where he serves as the Alumni Coordinator.

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What do you hope to accomplish as an Alumni Coordinator?

I hope to create an atmosphere that allows RCA to be integrated into the community as a whole and the recovery community specifically. I also feel that being Alumni Coordinator puts me in a position where I can help educate the community about addiction, reduce the stigma, and be a part of the solution. This is very exciting to me seeing firsthand what a little guidance and hope can do for someone.

In your opinion, why do you believe an alumni program is so important for those who want to achieve long-term recovery?

I believe lack of connection is one of the main driving forces of addiction. When a patient comes to RCA we try to help them rebuild those relationships that were lost while in active addiction. I feel strongly that having a strong Alumni community will help to further this process. With the many activities and volunteer opportunities, the Alumni Association offers, the patient will be able to reintegrate back into the community and therefore have a much better chance at long-term recovery.

What do you enjoy most about the work that you do?

I love working with people, getting to know them and be part of the process that helps them achieve long-term recovery. The joy I get when I can see in people’s eyes that they have begun to have hope again is beautiful to behold. So many have lost hope and what I have realized is a lack of hope is tied to not knowing of anyway to solve their problem. I believe recovery is a process of rediscovery. If I can be just a small part of that process that would be most rewarding to me.

What are the major driving forces in your life?

My wife, children and grandchildren are the reason I get out of bed each day. They are what keeps me motivated to help others. I am very blessed to be given another chance and I do not take lightly. Being given the opportunity to help give what has been given to me is such an amazing thing.

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