Day One’s 43rd Annual Celebration was held Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at the Marriott Sable Oaks. The evening was full of excitement with awards honoring those whose work aids the process and journey of recovery; messages of experience, strength, and hope from youth whose journeys began with the guidance of one of our treatment programs; a silent sports memorabilia auction and a live auction; and the message of our keynote speaker who spoke directly to the high school students in the audience, encouraging them to follow their passion.
This year, our two testimonials given by Day One youth who were clients at our residential treatment programs, offered their perspective on the challenges they face on this “recovery road.” Speaking before a crowd of such magnitude can be incredibly stressful even for those whose careers bring them to speaking engagements on a regular basis. Our youth sometimes are asked to present their stories at United Way rallies, or even before peers at local schools. The courage they show in speaking their emotional truths is something few of us will ever be challenged to find. Our residential programs serve 13 – 18 year old youth. It is one of the many stressful situations they will continue to face on their journey and the coping skills they develop are invaluable.
We would like to thank the counselors who work with these kids on a daily basis to help them to: find their place in their world; set a goal of who they want to be and develop a plan to work toward that goal; and maintain a sense of hope in the face of disappointing barriers to progress and the heartbreaking realities of substance use disorder frequently compounded with mental health issues. They also work with our youth to help them face difficult and sometimes terrifying challenges (such as speaking before a crowd of over 400) without the use of substances or unhealthy behaviors. It is all part of the growth and acceptance of life on life’s terms that these kids face. Behind the scenes, it’s harder than it looks because not every story has a happy ending, so the journey becomes the point. This is a difficult concept for most adults but it becomes a necessary part of their daily lives. Planning for the future is broken down into daily tasks and building community support becomes a part of life. We are so proud of the kids who take on the challenge of living life one day at a time, with an eye on their future. We hope you will see the value of Day One programs in not only saving lives, but building connected communities with the focus on helping others and improving relationships to work toward a common goal, a kinder and more compassionate world.