With a smile in her voice, Theia J. describes her volunteer work on behalf of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation as "a little selfish." "Giving back is how I stay sober," she shares. "Giving to others what was so freely given to me is an incredibly powerful feeling—far better than alcohol ever made me feel." An alumna of Hazelden in Center City, Minnesota, Theia is a familiar face on campus as well as at Hazelden locations in St. Paul, Chaska and Maple Grove where she volunteers as a "Pass It On" speaker. She also regularly assists Hazelden staff with alumni committee meetings and special events and serves on an Alumni Relations focus group. Theia, along with a fellow alumna, jumpstarted alumni chapter meetings in Minnesota and facilitate a weekly meeting in the western suburbs of the Twin Cities. In fact, Theia volunteers so much and so often that a special "Alumni Relations Ambassador" business card was created for her. It's a title she wears with pride. "For nearly 30 years, I put a lot of work into drinking. It consumed my life in every way. I was a daily drinker and I was killing myself, literally. At Hazelden, I gained enough hope to realize I wanted to live—that I was worthy of getting help and getting well. And when I left treatment, I was ready to do whatever it took to stay sober: Go to meetings. Get a sponsor. Be of service." Theia understood the principles of sobriety, but transitioning from the structured, supportive treatment environment of Hazelden into real life presented challenges at every turn. She has a special place in her heart for others at the start of their journey. "I recognize how simple gestures can make a huge difference for people new to recovery—helping them get comfortable with going to meetings or finding fun, healthy things to do on Friday nights. Just offering a smile and warm welcome can make all the difference in helping someone stay sober for one more day." Every month, Theia returns to Hazelden's Center City campus to speak with patients and share the most important gift she has to offer: Hope. "I see the desperation and defeat in their eyes, and I remember all too well being in that very same state, being in so much pain. If I can spark any little bit of hope in the people I meet, I know I've done something helpful. There's absolutely nothing more rewarding."