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StepUP Program hosts recovery and education conference

stepUP_conf The Augsburg College StepUP Program will present a conference titled “Networking For Change: Recovery and Education.” The conference will be held Monday, Aug. 11 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Foss Center and Oren Gateway Center at Augsburg College.

The conference, funded by a grant from the State of Minnesota Office of Higher Education, will attract licensed alcohol and drug counselors, staff from local agencies working with students in recovery, high school teachers and counselors, and state officials who support Augsburg’s receipt of the grant.

Ken Winters, PhD, director of the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research, will present the keynote address. Cindy Swan-Henderlite, LADC, of the Department of Human Services Chemical Health Division, will present a plenary session. In addition, breakout sessions will be facilitated by licensed addiction professionals, Augsburg staff, student leadership and academic curriculum writing consultants, StepUP Program students, and parents of students in recovery.

Patrice Salmeri, Director of the StepUP Program, believes the conference is significant because it highlights the growing needs of students in recovery. “The day is entirely focused on the needs of recovering high school and college students and the critical transitions that occur from secondary education to collegiate recovery communities. Participants will hear from experts in the field including students, parents, and staff,” said Salmeri.

Peter, a junior studying accounting and finance, will present on a student panel at the conference. A California native, Peter found out about the StepUP program when an Augsburg student in the program spoke at Hazelden while Peter was in treatment. “It’s an amazing program and life-saving program,” Peter said. “It has provided opportunities for myself and others that we normally wouldn’t get at an ordinary college. It has truly been a blessing.”

The conference is a direct result of Augsburg’s Campus Recovery Coalition, a group of Augsburg faculty and staff who collaborate with other Minnesota institutions of higher education to develop and promote recovery support services on college campuses. These services maximize academic, social, and occupational success for the student.

The StepUP Program provides ongoing support to enrolled students committed to recovery and willing to progress toward an academic degree. The program provides recovery support, which builds upon the continuum of care of treatment and services provided by halfway and sober houses. The development of a community of recovery on the campus provides natural and realistic next steps for young adults as they work to stay in recovery while progressing to age appropriate occupational and social functioning.

For more information on the Augsburg College StepUP Program or to register for the conference, go to www.augsburg.edu/stepup.

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