Right Side Up | 21 Years and Stronger Than Ever
By Marcia Smith, LPC, NCC, MAC
Director of Right Side Up
For over two decades now, Right Side Up’s committed staff and alumni have extended the hope, joy, and lifelong support available in lifelong recovery to thousands of women who’ve walked through our doors.
I am happy to report that we just had an exceptionally passionate group of 20 ladies who we celebrated completing the program on Saturday 4/23 (one of the largest in RSU history) at our bi-annual RSU commencement ceremony. That joyful and well-attended event was just further evidence that the RSU program continues to be strong and vibrant. In fact, I have the sense that RSU is just getting started.
While women are clients with us, they receive six months or more of groups, clinical care, therapeutic child care, and parenting support from our compassionate, competent, and endlessly committed clinical staff. Their families are also offered free education and complimentary clinical care through our family program overseen by experienced family counselor Millicent Parker, MDiv, LPC.
Clients are also offered the opportunity to experience the warm, lifelong embrace of our alumni community. These alumni are women committed to the healing program of total recovery, and who love our clients and one another enough to hold each other accountable–and to be held accountable themselves.
When our RSU clients are able to surrender to this process of clinical care and community transformation, somewhere in the journey they begin to have a beautiful realization. They start to wake up to new possibilities for their lives.
Sometimes these awakenings come in glimpses and sometimes all at once. However, when clients can learn to participate in our program they see all that they risk losing is a life dominated by shame and suffering.
As they learn to let go of those old ideas, they see themselves stepping into a whole new life of community and connection. In the words of Jasmine Turner, RSU alumna and volunteer, they are entering a sisterhood that will be there for them no matter what.
My words can’t describe the courage and resilience our clients and alumni demonstrate on a daily basis. So I’ll let just a few of our recent class of women who commenced on April 23 speak for themselves.
Here are just a few excerpts from the speeches we were privileged to hear. And if you haven’t been to an RSU commencement ceremony, it’s a gift I would recommend giving yourself. To witness the joy and gratitude radiating from these strong women is an inspiration to me each time.