Eyes Wide Open
August 8th, 2017
As the man described a difficult and dangerous journey with his personal war on drugs — including crime, fights, and prison — two high school girls listened in disbelief.
Abby and Rachel, seniors at the prestigious Community School of Naples, had never heard such a story. But as student interns at David Lawrence Center, they saw — and heard from — several clients who have traveled very hard roads.
Beverly Belli, Director of Adult Community Services at DLC, works with the internship program. She says Abby and Rachel were wide-eyed and slack-jawed after hearing the man, about 35 years old, tell his story of drug abuse, dealing, thefts, fights, arrests, brain injury, prison, and losing his job and family. The man, in DLC’s Crossroads Addiction and Recovery Program, spoke freely in front of the students.
“Rachel said, ‘Oh my gosh, I’d never thought about all the consequences that a drug abuser goes through,’” says Belli. “And Abby was very emotionally moved after hearing the story of someone who had hit rock bottom. It was a pretty profound experience for both of them.”
Community School students are required to do 20 hours of community service, and DLC’s internship program is just one of many local sites where they volunteer. Abby is headed to Boston College to study speech and language therapy, and Rachel is going to the University of Michigan to major in neuropsychology.
Student interns are provided with a tour of DLC, attend a staffing and a group session on the Crisis Unit, observe group therapy in Crossroads, and attend a Mental Health Court session.
Abby and Rachel enjoyed their eye-opening, educational experience so much they hope to return to DLC to work part-time as behavioral technicians for more on the-job training while on Christmas and/or spring break in the coming school year.