Graphic courtesy of: Courtesy of R.I.S.E.

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Scholarship fund allows students to gain an education while in recovery

Recovery to Inspire, Share and Empower (R.I.S.E.), the official collegiate recovery community of Ohio University, received a gift from an alumna and her husband to establish the Friends of Recovery Scholarship Fund. As one of only three collegiate recovery programs in Ohio, R.I.S.E. provides support for students recovering from an addiction to alcohol and other drugs by creating a safe place for members to learn and grow.

Ann Addington, assistant director of Health Promotion: Tobacco, Other Drugs and Recovery Programs, said the collegiate recovery community is dedicated to helping students by holding weekly meetings, fostering healthy relationships through a dedicated space and hosting sober social events.

With an estimated four percent of students on any college campus in recovery from addiction, Addington stressed that R.I.S.E. is a vital support system for those working to stay sober in college.

“Our focus is to prevent relapse. When students come to school they have more freedom, less supervision and college is an abstinence-hostile environment,” Addington said. “Drinking and using drugs on college campuses is normalized, and it can be hard to navigate around that.”

Kathy McQuarrie and her husband, Allen, aim to make annual gifts to the Friends of Recovery Scholarship Fund. Kathy, who received her bachelor’s degree in English in 1966 from OHIO, said that recovery from substance addiction is very personal in her home. After watching several family members suffer from and lose their lives to addiction problems, the McQuarries became a part of the recovery movement that uses a service and advocacy approach to help others.

“We want students to know that their addiction is a health problem, not a personal failing; that their recovery efforts are acknowledged and applauded; and that they can create a life of purpose and joy in recovery,” Kathy said.

Addington says the fund sends a positive message to incoming students who are in recovery.

“It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and you don’t have to let that addiction be your identity,” Addington said. “No person should ever have to chose between recovery and an education.”

Kathy said that her family celebrates the dignity and freedom that recovery brings, and encouraged alumni to contribute to the Friends of Recovery Scholarship Fund to provide substantial and needed help to students.

“We are impressed by the program that the University has put together and hope this scholarship offers one more way to recruit and assist serious students who, in their recovery, will not just succeed but, in turn, will help others,” Kathy said. “Giving back is a mantra of those in recovery.”