The Collegiate Recovery Community hosted a breakfast Friday to give attendees the opportunity to eat and socialize for a cause. The breakfast was catered by The Veranda and was a fundraiser for the CRC’s scholarship fund and the general funding of the community, including sending students on trips, providing group meals and other needs.
CRC Program Director Blake Schneider acted as the event’s master of ceremonies. Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum introduced the keynote speaker of the event, football's head coach Joe Moorhead.
Both men expressed gratitude and admiration toward the student organization, which provides a foundation and community to students struggling with addiction, and acts as a support group to those who are already sober. The program also offers scholarship opportunities to aid students whose addictions have affected their financial wellbeing.
Keenum stressed the student-led program was an asset for recovering students. Primarily, he emphasized the program’s service components.
"It’s just wonderful that we have a program like that that changes lives, helps get them on the right path for their life and their future," Keenum said.
He went on to acknowledge while a diploma from MSU is a valuable and worthy goal, there is more to leading a fulfilling, successful life.
"It’s also how you live your life that will dictate the kind of life you are going to have," Keenum stressed.
Keenum continued to say no one can make it through the struggles of the world, especially in cases of substance abuse and addiction, without help. The premise of the organization is to "provide a safe haven for recovering students," while creating a community of friends and support systems to aid in long-term recovery, according to the CRC website.
Moorhead took the podium after Keenum. He said he has never struggled with substance abuse, but he understands nothing is possible without a network of support. The future is uncertain, but he believes if people are surrounded by the right people and resources, change and growth are achievable. He spoke of his coaching days before MSU and how he had been only one season away from quitting before everything turned around.
“The hardest falls result in the highest bounces,” Moorhead said.
To conclude the event, alumna Mackenzie Ellis and current student Hannah Ellis, a sophomore studying management, paid tribute to the program.
Hannah's honest storytelling quickly captured the attention of the attendees and was met with a standing ovation as she finished.
"When I was sober, I felt this complete emptiness," Hannah said. "I didn’t see any future for myself, I didn’t believe in myself."
Hannah heard of the CRC through Schneider and eventually became involved in the program, starting her own recovery process. Without them, she said she would not have recovered.
"The Collegiate Recovery Community isn’t just a group," Hannah said, "it’s a family."
To donate to the Collegiate Recovery Community, contact Schneider at (662)-325-3192 or firstname.lastname@example.org.