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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass Boston’s Recovery Support Program Celebrates Success

On Jan. 31, the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Recovery Support Program welcomed Chancellor Keith Motley and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as the program shared the goals and the successes of the program.

UMass Boston’s Recovery Support Program is a branch of the University of Health & Services Health and Wellness center (UHS Health & Wellness). The recovery support program is an on-campus support program for students who struggle with substance abuse. The program is also offered to those who don’t have access to clinical supportive resources.

Students Lina Abdalla, Christian Arthur, and Andrea Macone were featured on panel after the events screening of “Generation Found,” an independent film that tells the story of a community that tackles addiction among the youths in urban communities. Macone, who was nominated for the Mayor’s Spark award for leadership in collegiate recovery, was also featured in a video produced by the Mayor’s office regarding recovery, which was shown at the National Conference of 2016.

In addition, Ray Borg, a student at UMass Boston, was awarded with a Beacon Leadership award and a Campus Transformer award for leadership in collegiate recovery. When asked about the experience, Borg reported, “It’s really inspiring, they start seeing the effects, a new kind of high. They start seeing results. If I didn’t start seeing the effects, I wouldn’t have stayed. I was able to be completely open with somebody and I started helping people and it worked.”

Linda Dunphy, now the director of the program, began the establishment three years ago along with students who contributed to its efforts. Dunphy shared in the presentation that the campus recovery program has reached out to various high schools and colleges over the years in Massachusetts and has now established relationships with recovery centers for students in parts of the state. Affiliated high schools with UMass Boston’s recovery program include the Liberty Preparatory Academy High School in Springfield, the Northshore Recovery High School in Beverly, the William J. Ostiguy High School in Boston, the Independence Academy in Brockton, and the Rockdale Recovery High School in Worcester.

Within the last year, UMass Boston’s Recovery Support Program established the Massachusetts Collegiate Recovery Collaborative, a group of colleges in Massachusetts that are now working to support students in recovery. The colleges include, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Boston College, Boston University, Tufts, and Bridgewater State University. Dunphy said that the program has now grown to include 117 members, and four more have joined since Tuesday.
This past Tuesday, four out of the five high schools invited were able to attend the event. Springfield’s  Preparatory Academy High School was unfortunately unable to attend. Mayor Marty Walsh spoke to the students by sharing his story in dealing with alcoholism.
“Pursue your dreams,” he said. “You’ve already overcome probably the most difficult part of your life.”