Addictions Training Institute – June 2022 Student of the Month

June 2022 Student of the Month

June 2022 Student of the Month 


Crystal Gentry


I currently am employed as a primary care counselor for an outpatient facility in Temecula, California. My hobbies include hiking, scrapbooking, and LOTS of self-care such as exercise, relaxation techniques and spending quality family time. I am not married and have one teenager who is also in recovery.  She recently hit her 1-year sober date for Fentanyl, and I feel so blessed to have been able to provide her the tools to sustain her sobriety that I learned while working in the field of recovery.

I have two cats. “Bang Bang”, or Bengal, is my Blue Russian kitty, whom I raised since birth. My other cat, Autumn, is a rescue tabby with her own spunky personality. 

I am passionate about supporting others through their recovery battles. I am in recovery myself with 7 years of sobriety, and this field has become my one true driving passion that also helps me retain my sobriety by being in service of others. I enjoy learning more about myself while helping others achieve their goals that help me to continue to grow as an individual. 

I am working on my Associate’s degree in Psychology and Social Work. I have attended Mt. San Jacinto College, where I will be returning this fall semester to continue to pursue my career goals. What made me pursue education as a drug and alcohol counselor was my own personal journey in recovery. I realized I had a gift with helping others through feedback from my colleagues working as a support staff and decided to pursue a higher education to hone my skills and improve upon them.

I chose ATI because it is easily accessible, flexible with my current work schedule, cost effective, and satisfied the requirements for CADC-1 in the state of California. What I have enjoyed most while studying at ATI was getting to know my professors as well as my peers throughout the entire country. It has been interesting as well as valuable to gain knowledge not only on how prevalent addiction is across the country, but the differences within each state and region.

Taking courses online definitely made it easier for me to obtain my educational goals. I plan to continue to pursue licensure and climb up the career ladder as a drug and alcohol counselor.

What I enjoy most about my job, besides helping others, is the opportunity for me to continue to grow as a person. No other job I’ve had has provided me with this opportunity and I am so very grateful for it.

I would like to continue my education so I can continue to improve my skills, techniques, and approaches for various situations. I have learned that there is always room for growth professionally and personally in this field.

Obtaining a certification provided me the opportunity to transition to a higher position, but it also allowed me to again experience in the field working as a support staff. I learned a lot of valuable lessons during that time like self-care and how to avoid burn-out by setting healthy boundaries.

My career goals include continuing to climb the career ladder as a drug and alcohol counselor. I’m interested in continuing to pursue my degree in psychology as well as education so that I can also be a teacher to future drug and alcohol counselors.