Mending a Broken Family: Creating Lasting Family Connections

Michael and Tricia met at Arizona State University, fell in love, and married. Over the next few years, they had four beautiful daughters – RaeAnne, Riley, Jennette, and Jennifer. Things seemed perfect until Michael learned that Tricia had a history of struggling with drug addiction. “One day, she came home looking so sickly that I almost didn’t recognize her,” Michael said. Several times in rehabilitation didn’t help her. Tricia again succumbed to drugs and was later sent to prison. “For the sake of my daughters, now aged 15  to 5, I made the decision to leave the area to create a better life for them,” Michael shared. “We moved to Virginia where I had a job and the support of my family.”

The transition wasn’t easy for the girls and they had a hard time adjusting to their new location. Then Michael discovered Creating Lasting Family Connections. Facilitated locally by The Up Center, Creating Lasting Family Connections is a national award-winning and research-proven program for parents and at-risk youth. The goal is to help strengthen family communication and educate students about the negative effects of alcohol and drugs. “I am extremely thankful. The girls have a safe and supportive environment where they meet with friends in similar situations,” Michael said. Michael and his family will graduate from Creating Lasting Family Connections in late March.

“We have learned new ways to connect and communicate as a family. As a single father, I enjoy Creating Lasting Family Connections because it is a place where I find mutual respect and the camaraderie that I need.”
-Michael Johnson, Parent

Learn more about Creating Lasting Family Connections. Contact Heather.Watkins@theupcenter.org.

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