Our company was founded on June 1, 2013. Since then, we have experienced a lot of growth and helped a lot of clients heal from substance use disorders while continuing their education.
As of June of 2015, approximately 170 young people matriculated through our program. Among those clients, 112 have enrolled in college, 13 have completed GEDs, three have graduated from college, and two have graduated from high school. Our numbers have increased since last year. You can learn more about our model and program outcomes here.
To celebrate our three years, we have asked a few members of our leadership team to reflect on our history, our present, and our future. Our Director of Admissions and Operations, Sarah Babaa, has been with our company since day one. Here are her thoughts on what we have accomplished and what it was like starting the program.
I remember sitting with Andrew Burki as we shared and laughed about our dreams, aspirations, and visions when I was just a few months into my recovery. I also remember the day, years later, when I received a phone call from Andrew informing me that all of our conversations over coffee were becoming a reality and that his vision of an academically-focused program was coming to fruition. Thinking back to that moment, I never fathomed the ripple effect that would occur from one idea, not only for the company and this industry but also for me as a person in long-term recovery.
Much like early recovery, the first year of operating for Life of Purpose was full of growing pains and multiple trials and tribulations. There were moments within that first year that I often questioned whether or not we could really achieve our mission and whether or not our commitment and passion would be enough to make it happen. Just like creating new routines and habits in recovery, creating a new treatment model and implementing it was not always a comfortable process.
Within a few months, Life of Purpose had tangible results. Our clients were becoming active college students who were stepping into independence and responsibility with confidence and pride for who they are rather than shame and embarrassment for the things they had done. These same clients were beginning to have experiences of perseverance and courage and were seeing that being in recovery doesn’t have to cripple us but instead is something to be inspired by. I began to witness our clients develop self-efficacy towards success in their recovery and their academic goals and many of them continued to reach out to us for support and redirection when they were presented with obstacles.
In a matter of 3 years, Life of Purpose has grown into something that is so much more than a substance use disorder treatment program. Life of Purpose has developed into a program of hope for success in all areas of our clients’ lives. We have been successful in creating a community for young adults to achieve life goals and experience the fun and joys of being a young adult and student without threatening their recovery.
We look forward to sharing more about our organization this week as we celebrate our third year helping emerging adults heal and thrive.