Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic recently held its annual Arlington Breakfast Celebration on May 2nd, an event that continues to inspire both long-time supporters and new friends alike. Despite the early 7:30 a.m. start time, over 120 people from the Washington,D.C. community enthusiastically gathered at Washington Golf and Country Club to hear about the continuous evolution of our organization. Those in attendance included Mid-Atlantic Board Chair, Bruce McLeod, Regional Director, Debby Taylor, and Phoenix House President and Chief Executive Officer Howard Meitiner, among many other prominent state and local officials. We were especially honored to have as our keynote speaker, Benjamin Tucker, Deputy Director of State, Local and Tribal Affairs for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), who shared his professional perspective on addiction treatment in the U.S.
Perhaps the most important and meaningful part of the program was the speech given by a Phoenix House graduate, Sofia, who shared her remarkable evolution from a bullied, depressed, and addicted adolescent to a confident, talented, and successful college student and young adult. Standing before an enraptured audience, Sofia explained how her self-loathing and choice of friends eventually led her down the long path of addiction. However, because of her stay at a Phoenix House residential program and her innate drive to change, she was able to regain control over her life, ultimately taking another, more hopeful path.
We thank all of those in attendance and would specifically like to convey our sincerest gratitude to our two speakers, Deputy Director Tucker and our inspirational speaker, Sofia.