A conversation about addiction at COTR

Shena Hicks and Don Kennedy spoke about their addiction experiences at the College of the Rockies.  - Photo submitted
Shena Hicks and Don Kennedy spoke about their addiction experiences at the College of the Rockies.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Two College of the Rockies Human Service Worker program students spoke to a gathering of students, faculty, staff and community members about their experiences with addiction on November 19.

A Conversation About Addiction, sponsored by College of the Rockies’ Diversity Committee and the Library staff, was held in conjunction with National Addictions Awareness Week, November 18-24.

Don Kennedy opened the conversation by revealing his painful experiences with drugs and alcohol.  Once a successful businessman, Kennedy lost everything to his addiction and spent many years living on the street before gaining sobriety two years ago.  Now a Program Facilitator at Top of the World Ranch Recovery Centre he is very happy to be alive and able to share his experiences with others today.

“I don’t want anyone else to have to go through what I went through to get where I am now,” Kennedy says. “I want people to learn from my experiences and to really think before getting involved with drugs and alcohol.”

The College’s Human Service Worker program is a starting point for Kennedy’s long-term goal to earn a Bachelor Degree in Addictions Counselling and perhaps even a Master’s Degree down the road.

“The Human Service Worker program is the right program for me.  Not only does it help me in my own recovery but it gives me the education and know-how to be able to give back to others,” he continues.

Shena Hicks’ story is an equally moving one.  Having grown up around individuals with addiction issues, she began using at a very young age and found herself living on the streets from the ages of 13 to 28.

Now clean for almost five years, Shena has a desire to bring awareness of addiction to youth in an effort to try to prevent them from making some of the same choices she did.  She also currently works as a Program Facilitator at Top of the World Ranch.

“My dream is to work with addicts, especially women, and to try to reach them before they end up on the streets,” explains Hicks. “The Human Service Worker program is helping me to get to that goal as it provides the education I need to go along with my experiences.”

For more information about College of the Rockies’ Human Service Worker Program go to:

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