This weekend, graduation was held for those people who refuse to see themselves as convicts who can’t be helped, any longer.
A local recovery group helps turn addicts into athletes.
Dante Dellesite walks with a new sense of pride. “I wake up with confidence,” said Dante Dellesite, a graduate of the Addicts 2 Athletes program.
He’s graduating for the second time from the eight-week program. Dante says just a year ago, he thought he was happy.
“I thought I was doing alright, I thought I was getting by, I was doing well, I was happy,” said Dante.
Until he got his second DWI, that’s when he realized something must change.
“I was like this isn’t working, what I thought was working definitely wasn’t. I was running away, I was hiding,” said Dante.
Dante was placed into the Addicts 2 Athletes program back in November by the Metropolitan Court System.
“The court was like you know, there’s an issue here and it’s pretty big,” said Dante.
He’s one of the dozens of ‘A2A’ grads, who say the program was a lifesaver. One of Dante’s mentors is Johnny Armijo, who is one of the first ‘A2A’ grads.
“I’ve been sober about two and a half years as of now, it’s done its job,” said Armijo.
Armijo says he had gone through Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous more than once, but ‘A2A’ is what finally launched his recovery. Now he’s happy to give back, to others who are struggling with sobriety.
“I’m able to run this program, and participate just as well – these people are still my sobriety,” said Armijo.
The grads were each given a certificate of achievement and a red brick that symbolizes a strong foundation.