We recently sat down with Tara Moseley, a long-standing member of the YPR team and an expert in community organizing around recovery.
1. How did your passion for recovery develop?
My passion for recovery developed when I began my own personal journey into recovery. In my community there was a lack of resources for someone like me, a young, female looking for safe recovery housing and educational assistance. It really began there, because I began to see my peers struggling to sustain their recoveries because they could not find safe supported living environments. As I struggled with the same circumstances, It made me question why we did not have resources, and then the journey of finding my voice began, to help not only myself, but other women like me.
2. What’s your favorite part of working with the team at YPR?
My favorite part of working with the YPR team is meeting all of the people across the United States who are finding their voices and advocating in their communities. Listening to stories of perseverance and triumphs continues to demonstrate how amazing the human potential really is and what we are made of. I remember attending my first NLC, and listening to all the Chapter Lead’s ideas about how to make an impact in their communities, and it was real. Not someone just patronizing me, but these people were the “boots on the ground” and they empowered me to do the same.
3. Why do you think it’s important to make our communities “recovery-ready”?
I think it is important to make recovery-ready communities because if we don’t we will continue on the same cycle we have been in for 80+ years. Until we recognize this as an illness and a public health problem that warrants a public health response, we are going to continue to loose an entire generation of young people. We have to create a culture where people can get the help they need, at all levels of care. Not just when they are so beaten down that they are facing death and we must educate everyone not only about the dangers of using substances, but WHERE to get help if and when they need it. Not just say “they will go to jail”- again solving nothing…
4. Are there any areas of personal or professional development you’re currently working on?
I like to think of myself as a life-long learner. I recently graduated from my local university, and I am studying to get into a dual program to obtain a JD and master (apparently I enjoy writing and reading). I am also apart of several recovery pathways because I believe that we have something to learn from each other no matter how we got here.
5. If you had any advice for emerging leaders in the recovery advocacy movement, what would it be?
Never let anyone tell you, you cant do something. It may be hard, and it may take a long time, but if you want it bad enough-you can do anything. The best advice I can give to someone is to find a mentor and work with them, reach out to people who are doing what you want to do, ask them how they did it. Ask a lot of questions, and finally keep your eyes in front of you. Its important to remember where you came from, but it is more important to know where you are going.
YPR works to cultivate leaders among people in recovery and their allies to make their communities #recoveryready through advocacy and delivering direct recovery support in those communities. We need your help!