The month of September is dedicated to recovery month. Candlelight vigils will be held across the country, remembering all of those who have lost their lives to addiction. Throughout the month, promotional materials will be passed around, in hopes of bringing awareness to the often complicated world of recovery and shedding some light on prevention and the importance of working together as a community. The stigma surrounding recovery is still going strong and the Community Action for Safe Alternatives (CASA) believes that recovery knowledge should be a yearlong drive for every community. Regardless of age, background, and gender, addiction ripples through society, affecting it as a whole. This week, Isadora Hipolito, shares her perspective as a leader of young adults. Hipolito works for CASA as the Youth Advisory Board Lead Staff, where she engages with middle school aged kids and young adults as a mentor. She has been at CASA for four years, one of which she has been in a leadership role.
How did you end up working in the recovery world?
I initially needed volunteer hours for school my freshman year and I followed my friend at the time to CASA on Bartlett Street and was immediately captivated by the program. I loved being there and for the first time in my life, I felt like I was a part of the community.
Why do you think it’s important to have a recovery presence in every town?
Having a recovery presence in every town allows for more awareness on issues people may not know much about. It’s important to know what’s going on with people who are struggling, and having a presence in communities should be widespread for those who may need it as well.
What is an average day in your role?
An average day involves me meeting with my program coordinator, Maggie. We either talk about super important topics or have deep conversations regarding life. We plan events around promoting CASA as a safe space. We also listen to one another and give one another advice. CASA is a space where we all feel safe and put our minds together to work as one to achieve common goals throughout the day.
How do you feel we can better Winthrop by making residents aware of recovery and what CASA does to help?
I feel as though spreading awareness allows for residents to understand the risks of drugs and alcohol, especially in the youth groups. With awareness being raised in all groups, not just the adults, we can prevent many tragedies from occurring relating to substances. CASA is here in the community to teach the youth about what is in drugs and how that affects people. If there is no one teaching the residents of Winthrop about drugs and alcohol, people would not be as aware about the drug epidemic in the community as they are right now.
For more information about CASA’s Youth Advisory Board, Isadora can be reached at: [email protected]