The best part of doing this work is seeing students THRIVE! Enjoy this Q&A session with Dolan Academy student, Antoin Q.
- Dolan Academy: What were you doing before you started training to do Recovery Coaching/Peer Support/ Recovery Support work?
- Antoin Q.: Before I started peer recovery I was building a non profit called Hope Baltimore. There we offered support and education to adults.
- Dolan Academy: What have you achieved?
- Antoin Q.: Since I got certified, I have developed a pathway to support for men to become employed and have hope. They now have a story of change. Effective education on peer support allowed me to help my community with substance use disorder (and barriers that affect the community and devalue many) to face incarceration, homelessness, and crime. But there is HOPE!
- Dolan Academy: What are you doing now?
- Antoin Q.: I am now Helping Oppressed People Excel – that is the name of our organization, HOPE. hopeinbaltimore.org It is a reformed citizen community located in Baltimore. I do groups with Divine Light Treatment. I am also working on creating policy change in Annapolis, advocating for the rights of formerly incarcerated individuals.
- Dolan Academy: Why do you do this work?
- Antoin Q.: It was a method of giving back to my community and getting more involved to empower those, like myself, in addiction. To mentally adjust from the level of desperation to never understanding how unmanageable my disease had progressed or the harm I created in my home. Today’s culture with medical consumption has affected our community in ways that create poverty, homelessness, and incarceration. So many individuals are behind bars – they suffer mentally and emotionally but do not get the right therapy or continuation of care. This is why I developed Hope Baltimore and became a Recovery Coach. I get to assist with the use of my experience and voice to advocate for the community and facilitate healing.
- Dolan Academy: What strength/hope for the future does your work give you?
- Antoin Q.: My future hope is to develop a continuing care path for individuals coming out of incarceration. I would like to train individuals to become Coaches. I want to achieve our foundation’s mission that every person affected by conviction or addiction have support and accountability to recover. Hope Baltimore is doing work in 2 different states advocating for legislation change to remove barriers that hinder opportunity to those in direct need. I hope one day we can achieve a fellowship of coaches to assist in community based recovery support because hope changes lives.
Thank you, Antoin, for your firm committment to hope and building better futures!!