How would you know which Lebanon Valley College Students are recovering from addiction?
By looking at them, you wouldn't.
“We’re a group of seven gentlemen living total in the house that go to class, that do our work. That don’t drink or get high. And that’s it. We’re normal students,” said CJ Holowach, collegiate recovery house manager, and recovering addict.
Among the 1,700 students at LVC, are seven trying to get their lives back on track.
We don’t know who they are, or where exactly they live.
But what we do know is, somewhere on campus, they all live under one roof, and work together to develop new habits so they can kick the old ones.
“Chores, keeping the house clean. It’s even small things, making your bed in the morning. We’re trying to set these young men up for long term success to achieve their goals and dreams they would like, and part of that is starting small,” said Holowach.
The Collegiate Recovery program is new to LVC this year.
It came about through a relationship with the Caron Foundation, a drug and alcohol rehab facility in Wernersville, Pennsylvania.
And it hits home for Dean of Students, Greg Krikorian, whose own son is in recovery.
"Fortunately or unfortunately, I’ve been able to learn a lot about addiction and recovery. And probably the most important thing I’ve learned throughout this process is the importance of fellowship, surrounding yourself with good people, building a program around structure,” said Krikorian.
The same values he says LVC already encompasses.
And even though the program has only existed at LVC for a month, it has already helped change lives.
“My dreams for these guys is to see them years down the road, successful, with families, careers. It fills my heart. I get emotional sometimes talking about it. But it, it’s a beautiful thing,” said Holowach.
Both Holowach and Krikorian both say as long as there is a need for programs like this, they hope to see them expand to more campuses.
Right now, it only exists for men, but they are hoping to have the program for women up and running in the next couple of years.