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May 30, 2014

What Prototypes Means to Me: Jacob's Story

Volume 4  |  Number 3

Jacob is a counselor for adolescents who are at-risk for or have substance use disorders. While he has had training as a counselor, part of what makes him excel in this position is his ability to connect to these kids because of his own experiences.

Growing up, Jacob’s life wasn’t very stable. His mom kept moving him and his younger brother from place to place as she struggled with her addiction. “I didn’t know if I was going to go to school everyday, I didn’t know where I was going to sleep or where I was going to wake up,” Jacob shared.

He could tell when she was on drugs and was constantly afraid that cops would come to their house. There were times when he had to take care of his younger brother because his mom would just leave.

Then his younger brother was taken away.

“It really made her realize that she had a problem,” he said.

His mom, Sharon, sought treatment at Prototypes where she was able to not only get healthy and sober, but also learned how to be a better parent. She also gained skills to start a new career helping other women who have similar experiences.

Jacob knows how important it was for his mom to be able to have her son with her and how terrifying it would be for moms to not know how their kids are doing. “It’s motivation for them to keep going,” Jacob said. And by staying close to their mom, he and his brother were able to witness her transformation.

Sharon has been sober for 10 years now, is a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor and a Vocational Coordinator at Prototypes. Jacob and his mom have a great relationship.

“Prototypes changed the way I see my mom,” Jacob noted. “She is my role model.” His mom has helped him when he has trouble counseling the teenagers at work and they both support one another professionally.

Jacob is finishing his bachelor’s degree in Sociology and plans to pursue a master’s degree in Social Work. He also shared that his smart younger brother is also doing well and enjoys playing basketball.

“Prototypes has taught me gratitude,” Jacob concluded. It has also inspired him to help others and he plans to keep helping teens struggling with addiction so they never have to hit rock bottom.

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