Indiana Governor Highlights Centerstone Client and Program During 2019 State Address

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Marketing and Public Relations | America | Feb. 01, 2019

Centerstone Outreach Coordinator Kelly Brown, Centerstone client Brittany Young, Governor Holcomb, First Lady Janet Holcomb, and Centerstone Recovery Coach Melissa Thompson. 

Last year, Brittany Young was serving five years for substance abuse related crimes at Madison Correctional Facility in Indiana, where she met Kelly Brown, an Outreach Coordinator for Centerstone. Brittany received a job through a work-release program and worked with Kelly to form a re-entry plan. Upon her release, Brittany met with Melissa Thompson, a Recovery Coach for Centerstone, who helped her find a place to live.

During this time, Brittany began attending Centerstone treatment groups and 12-step fellowship meetings. She also adopted her nephew, who moved in with her, giving him a more stable and supportive environment. Shortly after this, Brittany’s mother was diagnosed with cancer and, likewise, moved into their growing residence. Brittany was the sole provider for all three individuals at this point.

Despite having to care for her family, Brittany completed the treatment groups for substance abuse through the Centerstone EMERGE program and also received two promotions at her job. She would then complete her supervision time at Community Corrections an entire month early, ultimately graduating from EMERGE after six months of treatment including therapy, life skills groups, employment skills and recovery coaching. 

Given her success, Brittany was asked to speak at a graduation ceremony at Madison Correctional Facility where she had the opportunity to meet Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb. He was very touched by Brittany’s story and her motivation and asked her to keep in touch with him. Through additional meetings, the Governor learned more about Brittany and the EMERGE program which changed her life. Eventually, he invited her to be a special guest at his 2019 State of the State Address, during which he shared the following:

“I also attended the first graduation of a different workforce program. This one at the Madison Correctional Facility. The graduation speaker was a young woman named Brittany, who had been in prison for five years. While there, she got training in welding and manufacturing, got the skills she needed, and got a job. That’s enabled her to move into her own home and she’s now helping her seventh grade nephew and her mom. And one year into her new career, she’s earned a promotion. If I had to guess, the first of many. The best thing, Brittany told us. She said, 'I get to wake up every day not looking at bars but looking at family!' Brittany is paying it both forward and back a generation. Brittany, will you please stand up, so we can stand for you?”

Brittany, seated in the balcony next to First Lady Janet Holcomb, received a standing ovation from the entire chamber. She brought two special guests with her that evening, Kelly and Melissa, the Centerstone staff who helped turn her life around. After the address, all three were invited back to the Governor’s residence for an informal dinner where they received a tour of the mansion and, most importantly, got to meet the First Dog of Indiana, Henry!

The Seymour Tribune also covered Centerstone's EMERGE program on their website. Read more here and here.