John – from Raleigh, North Carolina – is in his early 30s and started using drugs and alcohol in high school. “Things happened quickly. You think you’re invincible, but using drugs will knock you down anyway,” says John.

An avid football and baseball player growing up, John was faced with three shoulder surgeries from playing sports. This gave him access to strong prescription painkillers, beginning his relationship with drugs. John experimented with substances while attending college, and he earned his B.S. in Sports Management. He also began using drugs intravenously.

“I thought I could work hard and play harder, but that didn’t work for me,” says John. John knew he needed help, so he turned to TROSA – a multiyear residential recovery program for men and women with substance use disroders that is free of charge to its residents. TROSA provides cost-free housing, meals, clothing, health care, counseling, and community assignments. Community assignments provide a meaningful way for residents to put new life skills into daily practice and help residents make connections to others.

John’s community assignment was with TROSA Moving – one of TROSA’s award-winning social enterprises that helps generate program revenue while providing residents with marketable job skills and experience. John was responsible for helping manage the company’s larger accounts and overseeing major projects.

“I’m proud to help TROSA Moving function smoothly on a day-to-day basis,” he says.

John graduated from TROSA in October 2018 and was selected to stay on at TROSA as part of the Staff-in-Training program, a competitive, structured internship that allows program graduates to train to become TROSA staff members. John saw this as an opportunity to grow professionally while being a mentor to those beginning their recovery journeys.

“It’s a chance to give back and help others. I try to tell the younger population here to change their lives now, while they’re young,” says John.

John successfully completed the Staff-in-Training program and became a TROSA staff member in 2019. After years of mentoring others and having a leadership role at the award-winning social enterprise TROSA Moving, John found employment with a local company in 2021 and all of TROSA is cheering him on as he starts a new chapter in his life.

He credits his time at TROSA for teaching him consistency, accountability, and honesty. TROSA’s free comprehensive services have given John the opportunity to build a strong foundation for his recovery, making ambitions that once seemed out of reach now attainable.

“TROSA helped me when I thought nobody could help me. I now see the person I was before drugs and alcohol.” says John.