Recovering addicts get second chance at high school education during treatment

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – Recovering addicts now get a second chance to work on their high school education while in treatment, thanks to a partnership between Odyssey House and Horizonte.

The program developed in January and so far, 20 clients at Odyssey have signed up for coursework through Horizonte Instruction and Training Center, which is part of the Salt Lake City School District. Teachers from Horizonte come to one of Odyssey House’s facilities to help adult clients complete their high school diploma or GED.

“I love this program. I don’t think there should be any limits on how many chances someone gets in life,” said Anders Kvaal, instructor at Horizonte. “Working in this environment is very humbling because I see people that have been through so much and yet, they’re still here, they’re still trying, they still have goals for the future.”

Lisa Fama is one of the clients enrolled in the program. She is currently in treatment at Odyssey House for drug addiction that began 20 years ago.

“I was a high school dropout and I didn’t get any kind of education or pursue an education the entire time that I was using,” said Fama. “Sometimes I would have a job and would be able to support my habit. Other times, I couldn’t keep it together and my life would be falling.”

Fama said she dreams of working in the medical field one day, but didn’t think that would be possible until now.

“I stopped believing I could do whatever I wanted to do in life and I started to see that might be kind of true again, like I still might be able to pick something I want to do and follow through with it,” said Fama.

She said working on her studies motivates her even more to complete treatment.

“I kind of think the two things go hand-in-hand, especially since in treatment, you’re taught to focus on yourself,” said Fama.

Staff with Odyssey House said clients who complete their coursework through Horizonte will have the chance to apply for a scholarship program that will pay for 80 to 100 percent of their college tuition.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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