Next in our spotlight series we are honored to feature intern Maysa Mohmoud. In this insightful spotlight, Maysa tells us about her experience in a CRP, how it has supported her recovery, and her top tips for prospective students looking for a CRP.
Student Spotlight: Maysa Mohmoud
Tell us about why you chose a CRP?
Maysa: When I first started thinking about starting recovery, the CRC at my university, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, was the first resource that I could find. This was especially accessible because the CRC coordinator was my professor. I chose to engage more with my CRC rather than outside meetings because it is a more welcoming environment.
Which program/college did you decided upon, and what key factors in making your decision?
Maysa: A large factor in me pursuing a Masters in Clinical/Medical Social Work is my recovery. I want to be able to support marginalized identities and populations by being an advocate for increased accessibility and inclusion.
In what ways has studying within a CRP affected your studies?
Maysa: During the worst aspects of my active addiction, I would regularly miss classes and assignments – I had once missed a calculus exam. So I was academically struggling and was placed on scholarship probation for a couple of semesters. My recovery has greatly helped me graduate with honors and being able to continue on to a graduate program.
Overall, how has the CRP supported your recovery? And what are the main challenges you’ve faced?
Maysa: My CRC has supported me in creating a safe space for me to study, learn and grow as an individual. I have been able to move out of my comfort zone and be proud of the fact that I am recovery from a substance use disorder.
Some challenges that I have faced was feeling like an outsider during my earlier interactions with my CRC. Nobody in the space looked like me or had the same identities, and so it was difficult to feel immediately comfortable. One of the biggest reasons that I continued to come back was because I was familiar with the CRC coordinator. Had I not already had this relationship beforehand, I probably wouldn’t have returned.
What is your perspective on CRPs in general in terms of how they impact the trajectory of one’s life and recovery?
Maysa: I think CRCs have the possibility of having a great impact on a student’s academic and personal life. They can foster lifelong relationships with people who understand and empathize with what a person goes through. It can also serve as a form of self-accountability since you would have people who care checking in to make sure you’re doing okay.
What are your top five tips for a prospective student in recovery who is considering CRP programs?
- Talk to the coordinators to see how they can better support your recovery journey
- Go into the space to get a feel for how you’ll fit in
- Attend at least 3 recovery meetings that they offer and try to participate in them
- Attend a social event to get to know the CRC/CRP members better
- Have fun! Joining a new community is always overwhelming, but by making sure to take it slow, you’ll enjoy the process more.