2017 Multiple Pathways of Recovery Conference Highlights by John H. Newell III, Peer Recovery Coach
“Well for me to really explain how it was for me in Punta Gorda Florida @ CCAR’s 2nd annual MPRC2017 I really have to give you the back-story. I was first introduced to Peer Recovery Specialist by way of Bob Stewart who at the time worked for Foundation For Recovery. Bob was at the treatment center I was working for at that time and was there to present to the clinical staff what FFR did. On his way out he stopped and we chatted for a bit (I knew Bob by way of a 12 step fellowship) he suggested that I would make a good coach and that I should attend the next PRS Training that was coming up soon. I had no ideal what I was getting into, I took and completed training and started volunteering as a PRS! I fell in love with it right away & thought this is what I am supposed to be doing.
I soon after getting my feet under me coaching was promoted at my job and could no longer coach (FFR was Mon-Fri at that time). I was asked if I wanted to go to D.C. to attend Unite To Face Addiction? I agreed and that trip changed my life! For the first time in my life I was in D.C. and there was hundreds if not thousands of us all there on one accord, to change the way the world viewed people who suffered from addiction. That Monday while in D.C. we got to dress up and go advocate to our state people that were in office at that time, then we flew home and I was on could nine.
I was offered a position with FFR in 2016, I accepted it and before I knew it I was in D.C. Again this time it was for an ARCO leadership Conference. The best way I can describe that experience is to say I was walking amongst giants in The Recovery Movement! That trip also changed my life and the way I viewed what it actually was that was taking place in our Country and the role I played in that.
Then there was Punta Gorda Florida, MPRC2017! I was able to reunite with those same Giants I was able to walk amongst at Unite To Face Addiction and as well as The ARCO Conference I attended. This time it was a much slower paced (dry sponge) I was able to soak up knowledge and information from the very first people that started and Pioneered The Recovery Movement. Bill White, Tom Hill, Don C, Tom C, and the list go’s on and on. I was also able to connect the dots with other Pioneers that have also been right there from the very begging of this movement and attach names with faces. One of which I get the most wonderful pleasure of working with and for Dona Dmitrovic! One of the most powerful experiences while there was being in the room where Bill W. & Don C. did a question and answer session right in front of us and shared some of the most profound responses to some of the questions that were generated in the room. I even looked up at one point on the last day and Bill white was sitting next to me at a table to enjoy the last few presenters of the conference. I can’t think of a better way to be thrown right into the midst of this movement than the way this has been laid out for me.”
-John Newell III, Peer Recovery Coach, Foundation for Recovery, Las Vegas