University of Alabama Recovery Group Partners with La Hacienda

John SniffenCommunity Outreach, La Hacienda

PHOTO: University of Alabama Recovery and Intervention Services Assistant Director John Lovett (left) and Coordinator of Recovery Services Jaime Garza (right) met with Director of Business Development Elizabeth Olson during a visit to La Hacienda earlier this year.

Another way in which La Hacienda commits to young adults is through partnerships with student recovery programs at colleges and universities.

For years we have had such alliances at the University of Texas campuses in Austin and San Antonio. This summer, we added another with Collegiate Recovery and Intervention Services at the University of Alabama.

“Our focus is to enhance our collegiate program by partnering with more on-campus recovery programs,” says Elizabeth Olson, Director of Business Development. “I’m really excited about this.”

A Shared Philosophy of Recovery

Speaking from Tuscaloosa, where University of Alabama student are returning for the fall semester, Coordinator of Recovery Services Jaime Garza says that while their program welcomes the support, it is selective in choosing partners.

“We visit the treatment centers and see first-hand what they are doing. We want to partner with reputable institutions which share our desire to help students tap into their strength, hope, and courage to live life one day at a time.”

“La Hacienda shares that commitment, and that is why we feel comfortable partnering with them.”

It’s All About the Students

Part of the partnership involves referring former patients to campus recovery organizations and providing treatment center information to students who need help. Jaime emphasizes, however, that it’s not about “doing business.”

“Everything we receive from supporters is used to sustain students in recovery. Helping the students is our primary purpose.”

A Home Away from Home

The support includes counseling and providing students with a “home” while attending school. There are snacks and meals to be sure they are getting enough to eat, and a place to lounge and visit.

It also provides for popular recovery guest speakers and events such as sober tailgate parties at football games.

La Hacienda staff will visit the Alabama campus several times a year and help with these events.

“SEC football games have a reputation for considerable alcohol consumption,” says Jaime. “Our sober tailgates give students a recovery friendly environment in which they, too, can enjoy the games.”

“We want them to remain in school and finish their education.”