Robert Ashford and Jimmy Hatzell: finding recovery in college

There are 17,020 missed opportunities currently enrolled at Temple.

17,020 students would benefit if Temple made college recovery program and services a “line item” on its budget, said Robert Ashford, a master’s of social work candidate at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ashford and Jimmy Hatzell, chief technology officer at Life of Purpose Treatment, visited our class on Thursday. Both found recovery during college and advocate for on-campus recovery services.

An important distinction made during the class’s discussion with Ashford and Hatzell, for me, was the difference between providing a resource and making something a line item on a budget. Although weekly meetings for students at Temple offers something to look forward to, it’s not the same as the support a network of recovery housing, a center and sober social events can offer people in recovery.

Something that was also brought up during the class was the fact that recovery has a definitions problem. Having a conversation using universal terms about addiction and recovery can be difficult since it covers so many aspects and there are so many variables that determine what constitutes recovery for a person. I think we have run into this as a class and piecing together how we want the final project to look. How can we give a comprehensive look at addiction and recovery when it’s a personal journey for every person who experiences it?

About the author

Grace Shallow

Grace Shallow is a sophomore journalism student at Temple University in Philadelphia. On paper, she is the deputy features editor for The Temple News, an intern for WHYY’s PlanPhilly and a contributor for the Spirit News with previous work at her hometown’s paper, Cinn City News. Contact Grace at

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