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Community and college scholarships support Kennesaw State students in their recovery

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KENNESAW, Georgia | October 3, 2022

Jeremy Beck, a junior at Kennesaw State University, said his college journey has had more ups and downs than most.

After a rocky freshman year at KSU in 2016, using drugs and alcohol to escape a sense of not belonging, the Cumming native said he fell deeper and deeper into addiction until until he “collapses and burns” out of school.

He took a short-lived job as an air traffic controller in Wyoming before returning home to complete a 30-day, six-month rehab at a sober living facility, but soon Beck found himself working a job he didn’t like and to think again about school. .

“I was just tired of what I was doing, and I thought it would really help my career if I could finish my degree, so I started asking for recommendations on where I should finish it,” said- he declared.

A friend told Beck that he should investigate the college recovery program at KSU’s Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery. He enters school and joins the college recovery program (CRP) in the summer of 2021.

Jeremy Beck

On Friday, Beck stood on the podium at CYAAR’s Collegiate Recovery Scholarship Breakfast to congratulate 26 other students in the program for winning one of nine endowed scholarships or one of seventeen scholarships. general for a total of more than $50,000. Many scholarships are in memory of deceased loved ones or to celebrate graduation from the program, and the event ended with the announcement of a new endowment: the Taylor-Koonin Family Scholarship at the memory of Brian Waronker.

The annual breakfast event celebrates student successes and thanks supporters for donating funds for CYAAR scholarships and other recovering student initiatives.

Beck, a scholarship recipient and now student president of the college recovery program, said the dedication of center staff, support from donors and the community of students with similar experiences has helped keep school recovery on course for him and for so many others.

“When I was sober, I expected to go back to school and not have any friends,” Beck said. “I am older than most students. I’m completely sober, so I won’t be going to parties, and I never expected to find a group to fit into. But CYAAR immediately provided me with this group of people, which made it easier to transition from addiction and full-time work to student life.

During her breakfast address, KSU President Kat Schwaig said CYAAR has, over its 15 years, helped thousands of students through cancer prevention and education. drug and alcohol abuse, recovery support services, research assistantships and internships.

Schwaig also said that in the spring of 2021, students in the recovery program had an average GPA of 3.34, with 43% receiving all A’s and more than 70% maintaining or improving their GPA. Last school year, 11 students reached their graduation goal, she added.

“These students work so hard to overcome past academic struggles while maintaining recovery from substance use disorders, eating disorders, and other addiction issues,” Schwaig said. “For many, this program and this center is a renewal of hope, and we are grateful for the opportunity to offer them that.”

Daniel Krasner, executive vice president of business development at Summit Behavioral Healthcare and alumnus of the college recovery program, said CRP helped him stay on a steady path as he coped with the loss of his sister. following a drug overdose and introduced him to networking. opportunities that culminated in a 12-year career.

Krasner said he attended several treatment centers, community college and achieved years of sobriety before joining the program at KSU, but he said he always found a sense of belonging that he didn’t. hadn’t before. He said he credits CYAAR for making his graduation from KSU possible in 2011 with a 3.9 GPA.

“I know without a doubt that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the center. It changed my life and brought people into my life that I didn’t even know I needed,” Krasner said.

Beck added: “The students here inspire me and prove to me that just because my past is muddy and painful doesn’t mean my future will include anything other than achieving my dreams. So thank you all for helping me become the person I am today.

– By Thomas Hartwell
Pictures of Darnell Wilburn

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global connections, and entrepreneurial spirit attract students from across the country and around the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated (R2) doctoral research institution, placing it among an elite group of only 6% of US colleges and universities with R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.