Working in direct client care at Adult & Teen Challenge Ohio Valley, Zane Cook provides guidance to clients, ensuring they get to where they need to be.
Zane has been in his position for about four months after completing the year-long program as a client and then working for 11 months as an intern. “I just got tired of living the way I was living,” Zane, 23, said.
Originally from Steubenville, Zane started experimenting with pills as a teenager and moved on to fentanyl. He tried to get clean on his own. Those efforts worked for short periods, but then he would go back to using.
Every time he had a bit of money, he spent it on drugs. His utilities were shut off and wasn’t living in his house. “I owed people a bunch of money,” Zane said. “I was always kind of looking over my shoulder.”
Finally, his godmother steered him to ATCOV for help. “She said, ‘You’ve got to be willing to do whatever it takes,’” Zane said. “I was willing so I came in.” He liked the program’s structure, but the emphasis on faith took some getting used to.
The first day he arrived at ATCOV as a client, Zane left and returned a couple of hours later. He wasn’t resistant to being told what to do, but the faith element was harder for him initially. “I was actually an atheist when I first got here,” Zane said. “And not long after, I just felt like my eyes were opened and God started showing me things. After that, I just converted. It was too much to not believe. Now he’s a true believer.
“I’m blessed,” he said. “God’s been doing a lot in my life. He’s really blessed me here with this place and being able to be an intern and become a staff member and kind of mentor some of the new guys coming in and help them out just like the staff helped me out when I came in.”
Before coming to ATCOV, Zane worked in general labor. He plans to continue to work at the organization for a couple more years and then decide what he wants to do. He enjoys the work. “I like helping people,” Zane said. “I like seeing people smile who were frowning before. I like people’s lives being changed and seeing the restoration with their families.”
He’s experienced restoration with his family too. He was rebellious toward his godparents who he thought were too harsh. “Now I see it was all because [his godmother] loved me,” Zane said. “She’s seen the change in my life and we’re all good now. We have a good relationship.”