Meet Us Monday: Reggie, Peer House Leader

This #MeetUsMonday, we’re introducing you to Reggie, a peer house leader and graduate of REAL LIFE. He was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia, but grew up in Spotsylvania. As a child he was in and out of group homes and wasn’t around much family until he was a teenager. As a teenager, Reggie felt that he was hanging around the wrong crowd.
Reggie began using drugs when he was 15 because he didn’t know any better and did not have any positive guidance in his life. He comes from a background where he had to provide for himself financially. As a result of these financial and emotional burdens, it came to the point that he began using drugs.
Reggie decided to come to REAL LIFE because he wanted to change his lifestyle. In 2016 he “was blessed with [his] oldest son” and he wanted to change. In the midst of him trying to do things to improve his life, his “past came back to haunt [him].” And he was arrested for an old charge, and he went to prison. It was a difficult time for him because as a “felon and not having a stable foundation to try to start from nothing and build [himself] up was really hard.” In January of 2022, he came home, and he promised himself “[he] had to do something different and the only way things will be different if [he] does something about it.” He began searching for recovery houses and he found REAL LIFE, which was the best fit for him.
When asked how REAL LIFE has helped him during his journey he explains that “REAL LIFE has done tremendous things.” It has opened many doors for him, has kept him sober and given him that “foundation that [he] always wanted but wasn’t able to have.” The program has also given him a chance to have a new beginning. He has been able to accomplish many feats that he would not have been able to overcome if he had been on his own. He has been able to build relationships in and out of the program.
His goal is to study real estate and counseling to one day be able to open a group home for kids. He feels that no kid should have to go through what he did as a child. His current goal is to “wake up every day and try to be better than [he] was the day before.” Currently, he is in training to be a peer recovery specialist and is a peer house leader. He feels “blessed, happy, and relieved to know that [he] has made all of these accomplishments and changes in [his] life.” He finishes off by saying that he is very proud of himself, and he acknowledges that if he continues the path that he is on, he will make an impact while also helping others. He especially feels that he will be effective at helping because he has been in their shoes and has come from nothing and made a drastic change.
The last thing Reggie wanted to add is “we do recover and change is possible. Nothing changes if nothing changes, so you have to do what is best for you and do the necessary changes and adjustments in your life to move forward, and to see the results you want. And never give up.”