Andrew Wong – he’s a believer, and never a quitter!
Andrew says, “I’ve experienced some tough times in my life and everything I’ve experienced has made me who I am today.” Although he’s only 24 years old Andrew considers himself a veteran of the behavioral health and social services systems because he’s been involved with various programs and activities since his early teens. He says it was in his early teen years when he felt the most challenged by the twists and turns of life, and it was during these years that went down more than a few wrong paths. Today Andrew has over four years of sobriety, but there was a time in his life when he was challenged by alcohol and substance use. He says that becoming involved in programs at Marc Community Resources and other agencies has been beneficial in helping him continue on a healthy productive road of recovery.
Before becoming involved with Marc Community Resources Andrew was connected with the Dream Center where he worked on life skills in their Re-Focus Program. Then in 2008 Andrew came to Marc Community Resources as a resident in one our housing programs. This is when his resiliency and growth really began to flourish. Andrew, during this timeframe, realized he enjoyed helping others and began developing his skills in volunteerism. Over the years he has volunteered with programs that helped the homeless, was involved in carwash fundraisers, and for the past three years he has volunteered at St. Mary’s Food Bank intermittently on weekends. Another favorite weekend volunteer gig Andrew has maintained for the past two years is at Friends For Life Animal Shelter. He also consistently volunteers at his church home where he helps set the band equipment.
Not only does Andrew enjoy volunteering, he also understands the value of earning an honest day’s wages. He says this sense of solid work ethic was developed through three important experiences: working at his family’s restaurant for a time, engaging services through Marc’s Employment Related Services Program, and working in Marc’s Discover Young Adult Program.
Earlier this year Andrew successfully completed Marc’s State Certified Peer Support Specialist Training Program and was recently hired to work as a Peer Wellness Coach at our Marc Ridge Wellness Center. Andrew says it’s a good thing he quit smoking cigarettes a few years ago because it helps him be a more inspirational example of healthy living to those he supports at the gym. While he says he loves working at the gym, his lifelong dream is to be a veterinary assistance. He’s actively pursuing this dream by attending community college for the past two years where he has taken classes toward his vet assistant credentials.
Andrew is an awesome example of someone who believes in recovery for himself and others as well. He’s definitely a believer in the power of recovery for all, and he’s not willing to quit on himself or those he supports.