Grads, Gifts & Gratitude

Dovie C. has already had a remarkable life. And at 66, she's just getting started.

Born in Memphis, Dovie found herself caring for her seven younger siblings at the young age of 11, when her mother became ill. At only 15, she became deeply involved in the heroic work of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, participating in nonviolent protests for civil rights.

She joined AT&T at age 19. As a technician, she became one of the first black women working outside up on telephone poles. She worked her way up to a management position, put herself through college, started a family and took early retirement after 28 years.

But she didn't stay retired for long. In search of a new, purposeful vocation, she began working with victims of domestic and sexual abuse. Five years later, she moved into substance use disorder counseling (she has her counseling license in Tennessee), which she's been doing for the past 11 years.

That's already far more than a single lifetime's worth of accomplishments for most of us, but Dovie still wants to give more. When she heard about our new online master's program in Integrated Recovery for Co-Occurring Disorders, her interest was piqued. "Co-occurring disorders are present so frequently among my patients. I want to be able to address them effectively."

"When the email arrived telling me that I got a scholarship, I was really overwhelmed—I couldn't believe it!"
Dovie C.

"I've always known about the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, because it sets the standard. Nearly all of the educational materials we use at the treatment centers where I've worked come from Hazelden Publishing," Dovie says. "For years, these have helped me to be a better counselor."

Dovie's not sure where this degree will take her, but she knows she's in the right place. "I think the degree will open doors for me that I don't even know are out there. I'm here for a purpose and a plan. I don't have to know the whole plan—I just have to stay on my side of the street and do the right thing."

Grads, Gifts and Gratitude 2016

Chief Academic Officer and Provost Valerie Slaymaker, PhD, discusses the increasing demand for well-educated and trained addiction professionals to meet the growing number of individuals and families struggling with the disease of addiction. She also emphasizes the importance of our donors who provide the opportunity to students to pursue their aspirations in the field by providing education scholarship assistance.

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Deb Mattison, registrar, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation School of Addiction Studies

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