During today’s skills building workshop, we had the opportunity to hear from Pima County, Arizona and their implementation of the Recovery Support Specialist model. We were particularly inspired to hear from two of the RSS themselves – Andy Mendoza and Yesenia Campos. Their stories of individual and family recovery and how they are now helping others testifies to the transformative work of family drug courts.
You can read more about Andy’s story in the news feature date November 13, 2013 from the Arizona Daily Star (photo credit) by clicking here. His work with fathers in the Pima FDC is noteworthy. “He has so much more credibility with the clients,” said Anne Chamberlin, the program manager for Family Drug Court who helped hire Mendoza in January 2012. “When they see him and his tattoos, they’re like, ‘I can talk to this guy.’”
The Arizona Daily Star (photo credit) also featured Yesenia’s story and the Pima County FDC program in a news feature dated December 9, 2013. You can read it by clicking here. Yesenia reflected on how much FDC meant to her during her recovery. “They believed in me, and I lived off their faith. That’s how I made it every day. By doing that one day at a time, I was able to see what they saw,” she says. As a Senior Recovery Support Specialist, she is now giving what she received – hope and healing.
In 2012, Yesenia also had the opportunity to share her story during the Parade of Transformation at the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) Annual Training Conference in Nashville, TN. The Parade of Transformation is easily the highlight of the entire conference simply because we are moved by stories of strength, courage, and hope.
These stories remind us that our work matters to the lives of many, including those special individuals like Yesenia and Andy who are able to use their experiences and skills to inspire and lead others to a new life of recovery. You may view the entire Parade below, including Yesenia’s story, which begins at the 21:12 mark (9 minutes total).