Blake Schneider (Staff)
A DUI at age 19 gave Blake Schneider his third strike. From that moment, though, he got another at-bat.
This time, he hit it out of the park.
Today, Schneider is five years sober and in his second semester as director for Mississippi State’s Collegiate Recovery Community. In that capacity, he helps others recovering from drug, alcohol or process addiction stay focused on their studies and value their second chance.
“I did not see myself in this sort of setting, but I’m grateful that I’m here,” he said. “Many of us have been given a second chance, so that means there are higher stakes and higher accountability. I think it helps that I can relate to them because of what I’ve been through.”
The Collegiate Recovery Community, part of MSU’s Health Promotion and Wellness division, offers the college experience to students recovering from addiction who have been clean for at least six months. Each approved participant receives a scholarship, as well as programming and services that assist them with both their studies and their recovery. A house dedicated to the CRC located on McGruder Street helps connect participants to a family environment, offering social experiences, study hours and helpful services.
“It’s hard to stay sober on a college campus,” he said. “But studies show that students in recovery have higher GPAs, higher retention rates and are more engaged.”
A Marietta, Georgia, native, Schneider was a student at the University of Alabama when his alcohol and substance abuse caught up with him. After completing rehab and a 12-step program, he returned to Alabama, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communications studies. In his second stint at Alabama, he became involved in its CRC.
His pet, Asa, a rescue dog he lost and found after his 2011 arrest, has become a key part of Schneider’s recovery story, featured prominently in a first-person narrative published in January in the national Recovery Campus magazine. To read Schneider’s story, visit http://recoverycampus.com/mississippi-state-university/.
For more information about MSU’s Collegiate Recovery Community, visit recovery.msstate.edu/.