Next in our Student Spotlight series we are honored to feature Chava Evans. Chava tells us about his experiences in a collegiate recovery program and how it ultimately impacted his recovery.

Tell us about why you chose a CRP.

Chava: Before I found Rams in Recovery, I had never met a young person in recovery. I wasn’t looking for a CRP because I didn’t know they existed — I was looking for a recovery meeting on campus, and I happened upon our recovery clubhouse and met our director that same night. I didn’t choose a CRP, but it certainly seems to have chosen me. 

Which program/college did you decide upon, and what were the key factors in making your decision?

Chava: When I applied and accepted admission to college, I knew nothing about recovery and only knew sobriety. I’m currently a junior at Virginia Commonwealth University and I decided to pursue my studies there for non-recovery-related reasons (finances, proximity to family and support systems, etc.), but it has ended up becoming about my CRP and those who make it great. 

In what ways has studying within a CRP affected your academic life?

Chava: I heard very early on that recovery is like a pyramid — if sobriety isn’t at the top then everything below it crumbles down. For me, my CRP supports me in the endeavor to achieve academically and personally while never compromising my sobriety’s position at the top of the pyramid. 

Overall, how has the CRP supported your recovery? What are the main challenges you’ve faced?

Chava: I’m so thankful for my CRP and for our program director, Tom Bannard, and everyone else who really makes it great. When I came to college, I had nothing going for me besides my sobriety and lofty academic goals. I met friends who I connected with for the first time in my adult life and I gained access to resources that would go on to support me personally and academically. My challenges are the same as many other students: financial stressors, dual diagnoses, academic obstacles. But it’s significantly easier having a recovery family to rely on.  

What is your perspective on CRPs in general in terms of how they impact the trajectory of someone’s life and recovery?

Chava: We know that CRPs and recovery resources save lives, but to see it work at my university is a gift that I want everyone to be able to experience. Having a network of support given by people who “get it” is invaluable. The best thing about CRPs is that they are full of people who are great resources for not only your personal recovery but also give access to academic help and fill gaps. 

What are your top five tips for a prospective student in recovery who is considering CRP programs? 

Chava:

  1. Be open-minded 
  2. Utilize as many resources as you can 
  3. Visit the CRP location and meet the active members 
  4. Ask questions about recovery pathways they support 
  5. Give it a chance — you’re always able to leave if it’s not the right fit