I am a grateful recovering drug/alcohol addict with five years of sobriety and recovering from 25 years of the vicious cycle of drug and alcohol addictions. I am proud of who I have become today — honest, kind, genuine, loving, open-minded and finding the courage and strength to move forward towards my dreams and desires.

Meet Blake: Brave | Loving | Determined
Program: Addictions Counselling

Why did you choose ULethbridge?
I want to learn and grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually to become a professional in the field of addiction so that I can help my people fight, heal and grow to become the best of who they truly are from drug addiction — that is why I came to the University of Lethbridge.

What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience?
The most memorable experience is finding the inner courage and strength to be open and honest as a recovering addict. The support and encouragement from the staff and students have helped me grow into the best of who I was created to be and face the challenges in the addiction program.

How have your professors impacted your education?
Words cannot express or describe the support and the teaching from the staff in the addictions counselling program. They have taught and moulded me so much mentally, emotionally and physically in the field of addictions counselling that I feel confident to persevere as a great professional addictions counsellor. 

Is there anyone who has had an important influence on your ULethbridge experience?
I feel that the staff and the students have all had an important influence on me since the beginning of this journey to becoming an addictions counsellor; they all feel like family as they all never hesitated to help me when I needed it most.

What are your hopes and plans for the future?
I feel so strong and confident today as I have been working throughout my four-year degree and gained experience in all the stages of addiction. Today, I want to go for a master's in counselling and then see about becoming a psychologist. I want to help my people and others who are stuck in addiction or are on their journey of recovery. I have come out of a 25-year drug abuse and never thought I would be where I am today with over five years of sobriety and completing my degree in addiction counselling. This is a dream come true and I feel that if I could do it, so can others caught in addiction.

In your free time, what do you like to do?
I am becoming the father I truly am, I am becoming the uncle, son, and brother today in this new life of sobriety. I love to go to the gym and sit in the sauna for self-care, love to go be with my three beautiful horses and feed them, comb them down and love them as they love me and bring healing to me as well. I love to help others who are struggling with addiction by giving them support, courage and strength and inspiring them as much as I can.  I go every Thursday to the Kainai Healing Lodge and chair the N.A. meetings; I have been invited to many conferences and recovery houses to share my story of hope, courage and faith to give others inspiration. I am a success story from my community, the Blood Reserve; I have changed my life around and people see this, so this gives hope to others and it is truly powerful.

What advice would you give to someone about to start their journey at ULethbridge?
The advice I would give others starting their journey here at the ULethbridge is to never give up, keep it one day at a time, one assignment at a time, believe you can do it, reach out for help — you are not alone, and go for the desires and dreams that are in your heart. Anything is possible; we just need to believe in ourselves.