At Monte Nido & Affiliates, we save lives while providing the opportunity for people to realize their healthy selves. One of the ways we want to help provide opportunities for individuals to realize their healthy selves is through our Sea Glass Grants opportunity. A Sea Glass Grant aims to support small projects that create, develop or communicate a project that supports eating disorder recovery and healthy self-image. The Freedom Project is the most recent winner of the Sea Glass grant. Read this week’s blog post to learn more about this special organization and the important working being done.
Tell us about the process of creating The Freedom Project?
At age 21 and 6 years deep into bulimia, Andrea promised God and herself that if she could recovery from her eating disorder she would do whatever it took to help others recover and to prevent eating disorders. Now at age 27, Andrea has 7 years of recovery and pursued a degree in professional counseling. As a leader at a local youth group with several other leaders along side, helping teens struggling with eating disorders and body image issues began. This is where the Freedom Project became her dream.
How has The Freedom Project helped you in your recovery journey?
I am held accountable by the teens and adults that I am a mentor to. It keeps me forward focused even on the hard days and I am constantly reminded of where I came from, how far I’ve come, and to be cautious.
What feeling do you most associate with The Freedom Project?
Equal feelings between excitement and nervousness as we truly lack knowledge on effective recovery techniques and would really benefit from attending an eating disorder conference.
Walk me through what you hope to offer teens in your area in the short term?
We hope to offer 1:1 sessions and group therapy with teens struggling with eating disorders. (All services free of charge.)
My ultimate dream would be to open an 8 bed residential treatment program.
What is your favorite part of the day-to-day Freedom Project process?
Seeing my teens improve towards conquering their eating disorders, one step at a time and helping their peers with struggles.
How can people get involved?
Contact me! I am currently in the process of setting up a weekly group that would benefit from a co leader. We could also use further training. Sending a leader to an eating disorder conference would be ideal in order to increase the knowledge within our team. Leaders currently participate in 1:1 talks, weekly text check ups are always helpful for these teens. Every leader has something different and special to offer.
What advice would you give to someone in their recovery who has a dream?
When we follow our dreams, we create an opportunity for someone else that we wish we had. It is so important. Just like starting recovery, it may seem impossible but the truth is, there is a way! Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3
What are your hopes and dreams for The Freedom Project?
To help those suffering with eating disorder recover. Ultimately to build those who recover up and educate them so that they too can help others!
To learn more about The Freedom Project, email Andrea: firstname.lastname@example.org