I am a Recovery Advocate at a residential treatment center, and I am also a Drink Master at Fiiz/Chef. I love learning about body language, movies, and MLS soccer games. I have been married for 20 years and have three children. We also have a 2-year-old Goldendoodle named Roman. I am passionate about overcoming obstacles, talking about feelings, family, and learning. I am from a very religious family, and I have found much strength in that for my recovery.
I have a degree in culinary arts and restaurant management. I worked as a surgical scrub technician in labor and delivery for 10 years after getting my CNA. I attended Weber State University and Arizona Culinary Institute to obtain my degrees.
I am in recovery myself, and as soon as I was able to get my footing in recovery, I knew that I needed to apply my life’s combined education and experience toward prevention and substance abuse treatment. I truly am passionate about recovery. I have been a chef for 15 years and used to teach all varieties of ages. I love using cooking as buffer to bring people out of their shell. I ran many kid’s camps and loved seeing their self-value increase over time. When one accomplishes something and I got to be an instrument in that, I feel at home. I have been on television many times for cooking, and when I was offered a tv show, I realized that was not the path I was looking for. This is what I’d love to combine with substance abuse counseling.
One of the staff members where I went to treatment, David Jay, was so instrumental in my recovery. I asked about what he was doing to earn his SUDC hours and he linked me ATI. One of my favorite things about studying at ATI is the direct application of the classes. I wanted to be able to help ASAP in whatever way I could, and I feel like the instructors are so full of wisdom and compassion and willingness to have their students succeed.
Taking courses online makes it easier for me to obtain my educational goals. I have three kids, a husband and two part time jobs. It certainly allowed enough flexibility so that I could get education from awesome instructors all over the US when I was in Utah. To have the diverse perspectives of the instructors and students has helped me prepare for a variety of dynamics, and I feel more aware of different dynamics that I may encounter.
I would love to combine my culinary arts teaching and substance abuse counseling wisdom to create an experiential avenue of approaching recovery in treatment centers, or individuals who are desiring healthy and educational way to improve their wellbeing with a skill. I want to teach people to implement a way to independently nourish our bodies and minds that have been neglected with substance abuse. Also, I want to create a new potential passion or even pastime in learning how to process while cooking.
I love being around people who desire a better way of life for themselves, and I love working with them to achieve it. Those whom I work with inspire me to learn how to better do my job. I can only improve with my education. I absolutely have changed my mind set with recovery and the approach to counseling because of this program. I know that I can serve in many capacities to aid in the fight against this epidemic and show people that they are valued, loved, worthy of help, and can do this!
Obtaining a certification make me eligible to transition to a higher position. Currently, I am essentially a paid peer advocate and facilitator of groups, but I can’t reach them as deeply as I desire to. I have so many ideas that I know would have served me in treatment that I would love to implement. I am working part time at the treatment center I attended, but it’s an 80-minute commute, so I am scheduled to interview for an internship closer to my city. I don’t know that I will be interested in outpatient counseling. I have a different approach I would like offer as a package to as many places I can. I want to share my time and talents to help others find something they may just need to open that door to recovery. I do like the experiential and group activities approach. At this point, that is my plan. We’ll see where this adventure takes me. I’m open to finding a home in whatever place feels right.