The best part of doing this work is seeing students THRIVE! Enjoy this Q&A session with Dolan Academy student, Chelsea Benbow.
- Dolan Academy: What were you doing before you started training to do Recovery Coaching/Peer Support/ Recovery Support work?
- Chelsea B.: Before I started working in peer support, I was working part-time cleaning government and medical buildings. I HATED it. On top of working nights cleaning, I was a stay a home mom during the day.
- Dolan Academy: What have you achieved?
- Chelsea B.: I have been in this position since March and have been invited to speak at forums and lead focus groups involving the youth in Washington County and Maryland. I have completed all the necessary training for my CPRS. I am just waiting on my references to be completed to submit the application and take my test to obtain my certification.
- Dolan Academy: What are you doing now?
- Chelsea B.: I currently coordinate the Transition Aged Youth program at the Office of Consumer Advocates in Hagerstown that is grant funded by the Washington Co. Mental Health Authority. I work with 18–25-year-old youth to assist them with whatever they may need to get on their feet and be productive members of society. I assist with obtaining benefits, enrolling in higher education, transportation, enrolling in clinical levels of care, direct peer to peer support among many other things.
- Dolan Academy: Why do you do this work?
- Chelsea B.: I do this work because I have struggled immensely in my lifetime with some of the same issues my peers are currently experiencing. I can provide insight since I’ve been there. I want to help the youth be independent and able to contribute to the community. Helping my peers overcome obstacles and be successful is extremely rewarding.
- Dolan Academy: What strength/hope for the future does your work give you?
- Chelsea B.: Seeing the youth thrive and succeed in life gives me hope for our future as a community. The youth are our future. I have hope that each and every one of the peers I work with can make it in life and thrive in the community.
Thank you, Chelsea, for the incredible work that you are doing in our community!!