Methodist University has received a grant of nearly $515,000 to support college students through recovery programs, according to a news release from the school.
The university is one of nine colleges and universities across the state that received a total of $3.2 million in collegiate recovery funding from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the release said.
Methodist will use the funding over two years to develop recovery programs at both Methodist University and Fayetteville Technical Community College, employing two full-time certified peer support specialists and four student ambassadors starting in spring 2023.
“With this grant, we are preparing to create diverse, positive and inclusive collegiate recovery programs by providing education on substance abuse, addiction, and recovery while providing safe spaces and social activities that are alcohol- and drug-free for students, faculty and staff,” said Cynthia Lally, director of campus recreation and wellness at Methodist, who will lead the program. “Ultimately, our goal is to create a recovery-ready community at Methodist University and FTCC and in the surrounding areas."
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The recovery program will be called Roaring4Recovery, a name that will be familiar to the university community. In 2020, Mitzi Averette, assistant professor of nursing, collaborated with undergraduate students to create Cumberland County’s first collegiate recovery gathering called “Roaring4Recovery,” according to the release.
The volunteer group reached out to students at Methodist, FTCC, and Fayetteville State University. In 2021, it became an official student organization at Methodist, the release said..
“Being in long-term recovery myself while working in higher education for more than 20 years, bringing collegiate recovery to Cumberland County became my passion and mission. This grant accomplishes that goal,” Averette said in the news release.
Methodist University’s new director of counseling services, Mark Gronski, will help provide mental health and counseling support for the new program, the release said.
“This shows another way that MU is making commitments to improving the well-being of students,” Gronski said.