Minnesota Recovery Connection is a grassroots, community-based nonprofit whose staff, volunteers, and Board of Directors are all people in personal or family recovery or community allies. We are dedicated to strengthening the recovery community and proud to share our stories. This month, we hear from Recovery Navigator Donna Washington.
April 2019 Spotlight: Donna Washington
MRC: How did you get involved with MRC and what does MRC mean to you?
Donna: I became aware of MRC through Hennepin County Drug Court. While there, one of MRC’s recovery coaches was onsite at drug court and offered to take me to MRC to introduce me to the organization and offer me recovery support and services. As I became more familiar with MRC, I decided to do some volunteer work – first helping with administrative functions and then interviewing individuals who wanted additional support from MRC’s Telephone Recovery Support program. Kris Kelly, the Director of Programs at that time, asked if I would like to volunteer as a Telephone Recovery Support specialist.
MRC holds a special place in my heart. Everyone at MRC was and has been tremendously supportive towards me in my recovery journey, and some of the onsite Recovery Coaches encouraged me to become a Recovery Coach as well. I’m now working as a Recovery Coach at MRC as part of a year of service through Recovery Corps. Members of MRC often saw in me what I didn’t see in myself. They asked me to be a featured speaker in a video interview on what MRC meant to me! I am extremely grateful for the stability and continued support from everyone at MRC.
MRC: What is something significant that you are proud of?
Donna: Graduating drug court! When I began drug court, I had a lot of anger at having to go through that. It was a long road for me, and that anger eventually turned into a feeling of success and important accomplishment – not just for completing the program but being in a place where I am strong in my recovery. I am now choosing to remain on a lifelong road in recovery and sobriety.
MRC: Who inspires you?
Donna: I am inspired by my entire family for continuing to support me, even during some rough times. My sister has told me she is so glad to have her sister back! I have a strong and supportive relationship with my Mom. My Dad has expressed on many occasions how proud he is of me for taking my life back, and we now have a stronger, deeper relationship. But where I get the most daily inspiration from is my beautiful and intelligent daughter. She loves having Mom around all the time in a house with her own room.
MRC: If you were to go back in time, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Donna: Listen more and speak less to those who only have my best interests in mind! My dad was a teacher and often would “lecture” me, but in hindsight I know he was trying to help and be of service to me. I now have a job that I love as a Recovery Navigator, and I enjoy listening and assisting others in their recovery journey