After graduating from the year-long program at Adult and Teen Challenge Ohio Valley in August 2023, Tommie will continue as an intern with the organization. He’ll work in the packing room. “I just want to set an example on how to just stay positive and keep on going,” Tommie said.
His addiction dates back to when he was 17. In 2021, his heart stopped after he overdosed on embalming fluid. Tommie was living in Long Beach, CA, but his sister lives in Youngstown.
Tommie was in a church service when he realized he needed to change. He had been using drugs, hanging out with gang members and living on the streets. He learned about ATCOV through his sister and felt like that’s where God wanted him to go.
He wants to share what he’s learned at ATCOV about perseverance, endurance, resilience and gratitude.
“That’s how you get through it. The Lord will help you get through it,” Tommie said.
Having a relationship with God was essential to his recovery and Tommie believes it’s critical to others’ recovery too.
Before coming to ATCOV, Tommie would give up when things got rough. His arrival at the organization and the relationship he developed with God while there changed that.
ATCOV’s counselors played a big part in Tommie’s recovery too. “They tell you what you don’t want to hear when you need to hear it.,” he said. He understands that when the counselors tell him something he doesn’t want to hear, they’re doing it out of love and because it’s what’s best for him.
“I’m grateful for that. I appreciate it because it helps you along the way and helps you get through,” Tommie said.