As a fitness professional I’ve had the privilege of helping many people change their lives for the better. For many changing their body isn’t the biggest hurdle, changing their life is literally life and death. Our company is privileged to work with an amazing organization that is trying to change the lives of young people and to help them stay clean, sober, and alive.

The Phoenix Foundation of Maryland is a non-profit organization striving to open a recovery based high school in 2020. Recovery high schools are secondary schools designed specifically for students in recovery from substance use disorder or dependence. The schools provide support for students and their families. When a young person struggles with substance use it wreaks havoc on the lives of loved ones. The school assists families by teaching them how to support their loved and help them maintain a recovery lifestyle. The school’s staff range from administrators to educators to mental health professionals and are often in recovery themselves.

I recently spoke with the president of the foundation, John Edmonds. John is an alumnus of the nation’s oldest recovery high school which sadly closed years ago. From his enrollment at the Phoenix School in Montgomery County, Maryland, John has been in recovery since July 5th, 1989. Clean and sober since the age of 17, John has been fortunate enough to share his experience, strength, and hope across the US and Canada. Recently, he served on the Board of Association of Recovery and Education of Greater Washington (AREGW) attempting to bring a recovery high school to the DC area. John is working tirelessly to get this school open and to save young people from years of misery and despair caused by active addiction.

The goals of the schools are

1) To educate all available and eligible students who are in recovery from substance use disorder or co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

2) To meet state requirements for awarding a secondary school diploma. And

3) To support students in working a strong program of recovery.

The environment that Phoenix will provide will allow students to have the educational, social, athletic, and extra-curricular opportunities afforded to students in traditional schools without the pressures of drugs and alcohol. It is so important for students with substance issues to get clean and then not have to return to the place where they were using or getting drugs.

My company, B-Strong Athletics, is hosting a fundraiser to support the Phoenix Foundation on June 29th. The “Strength ’n’ Sobriety Tournament” will be a strength endurance event challenging the participants bodies and minds. Individuals or teams of five can register to compete and 100% of the proceeds will be going to the foundation. To sign up or donate go to Eventbrite.com/e/strength-n-sobriety-tickets-5979040872 or find us on Facebook at B-Strong Athletics and go to our events page.

Overdoses continue to rise in Maryland and across the country. Anything we can do to help save lives and the lives of our children is vital. We look forward to seeing you at the event and remember – Be you, be more, be strong!

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