Today was one of the busiest “Rest” days of the trip. It was lined up for me to go to the James T. Strickland Youth Center where an estimated 75% of kids from 12-17 were serving time there due to drug related offenses. I spoke with a group of 69 kids whom seemed very intrigued with the Ride and also entertained with the fact that I rode through Prichard on a bicycle – apparently this was extremely dangerous! I told them the consequences that I faced in my active addiction and highlighted the gifts given to me by being in Recovery.
After my talk, I was then taken to the Drug Education Council office where it was arranged for me to talk with representatives from local and state college and universities about my experience, strength and hope - especially with Collegiate Recovery Communities. Greg Snodgrass the director of the Collegiate Recovery Community at University of Alabama came down and we both were able to answer some questions about the value of CRCs and I echoed the fact that Mobile could use one on a TV interview.
I stayed after and spoke with interested individuals in the Mobile area for a couple of hours before going onto my next talk in the West Mobile area. Ashleigh Simon the Clinical Director of The Bridge Inc., a long-term adolescent center, drove me out to the country where boys from 12-17 live for about 3-6 months, who have had consequences as a result of drugs and alcohol. I told my story for the third time that day and was able to answer a multitude of questions they had, so I feel it went pretty well!
I ended the day by going out to eat with my host family in Alabama. They had been through the wringer with family members and friends whom have now all found recovery and they were extremely supportive of my efforts. They put me up in their guest house, provided food and a vehicle to get around as Unk had to return home. I couldn’t be more grateful for the support that I received from people along the way – many of these people were strangers whom I now consider close friends. Huge thanks to my Alabama Family!