For almost two decades (yes, I’m a whopping 41!), I’ve had the pleasure of working with people and programs around the country, from community programs to private treatment. I’ve even tapped into my passion for program development by creating program structure for luxury treatment facilities, supportive livings environments and government programs including the prestigious think tank, The Rand Corporation. It’s been a great career of service and I feel truly blessed. I don’t share this to boast but to highlight how drastically life can shift when you commit to your healing and personal development. Growing up in Akron came with many celebrations and many challenges. I was a little boy who grew up in a community and family where substance abuse and other negative behaviors were the norm to deal with life’s challenges. My father was a violent alcoholic and not much a part of my life after age six, my mother had enough (alcoholism ended his life when I was nineteen). My mother was young and worked late so my sister and I ended up living with my grandmother. I loved living with my grandmother but my uncle was always there. He was a crack-cocaine addict and my first bully. All my childhood he (and the neighborhood kids) bullied me for being a “sensitive kid.” We reconciled our relationship a couple of years before he suddenly passed away. He was 5 years clean. There were many good days, but the low self-esteem I adopted as a result of my early childhood experiences diminished my self-worth and sent me down a path of destructive behaviors. When I finally got on a path of healing, my world opened up. My formal education and diverse professional experience eventually lead me to Recovery Coaching. Today, I live my dream coaching others to reach beyond their own limits and thrive in recovery. I’m humbled my work has affected the lives of so many people.