Minneapolis College

Minneapolis College Steps Up To Support Students In Recovery

Inside Minneapolis College, a quiet revolution is taking place as students in recovery find solace and support in their pursuit of education.

According to The Hechinger Report, amid the bustling hallways and classrooms of Minneapolis College, a two-year urban college, a quiet revolution is taking place as students in recovery find solace and support in their pursuit of education. At a recent gathering of the school’s collegiate recovery program, individuals shared their stories of resilience, highlighting the pivotal role education plays in their journey toward recovery.

Collegiate recovery programs have gained traction in recent years, with over 170 programs established across the U.S. and Canada. However, it wasn’t until the last decade that these programs began to emerge at community colleges, offering a lifeline to individuals seeking a fresh start. Today, there are at least 23 recovery programs at community colleges, reflecting a growing awareness of the need to support survivors of substance use disorders.

For Nomi Badboy, 43, attending the collegiate recovery program at Minneapolis College signifies more than just pursuing an education—it symbolizes a crucial step in her path to recovery. Reflecting on the challenges she faces as a parent, Badboy remarked, “Gifting myself with an education is a part of my recovery.” Her sentiments resonate with many others who have found sanctuary in the program.

Ray Lombardi, 50, echoed Badboy’s sentiments, recognizing the shared struggles faced by those in recovery. “It’s hard to be a parent. It’s hard to stay sober. And it’s hard to go back to school as an adult,” Lombardi emphasized, underscoring the program’s role in providing a supportive community for individuals navigating these challenges.

Despite the demand for these programs, many face significant obstacles, including funding shortages and staffing challenges. However, advocates remain steadfast in their commitment to expanding access to recovery support services on college campuses.

Jessica Miller, who oversees collegiate recovery programs at Ten16 Recovery Network, emphasizes the pivotal role of community colleges in providing accessible education and support services. Miller notes that community colleges offer flexible coursework and affordable tuition, making them ideal starting points for individuals in recovery.

While the benefits of collegiate recovery programs are evident, the need for sustained funding and support remains a pressing concern. Advocates hope to secure additional funding, including a portion of the state opioid settlement funds, to bolster these vital programs.

Despite the challenges, individuals like Badboy find hope and resilience in their journey toward recovery. As she looks toward graduation in 2025, Badboy remains committed to her education, recognizing the profound impact it has had on her well-being and sense of purpose. For Badboy and countless others, collegiate recovery programs represent a beacon of hope—a testament to the transformative power of education in fostering healing and renewal.