Student Stories


Before I sobered up, I can remember walking around campus and feeling like a ghost. My college experience was virtually nonexistent. After treatment and my year-long residence in sober living, Cougars in Recovery filled the void of accountability and sense of community that sober living had previously provided. In the fall semester, I was expecting a well-established and vibrant recovery community through CIR, and while involvement and membership was low, it still gave me what I needed in terms of on-campus recovery support.

During the spring semester, and with the hiring of the Program Director John Shiflet, it was awesome to watch CIR blossom and grow. The sense of camaraderie and relief that I had expected when signing up was fulfilled! It was amazing to see the growth over just one semester. I am excited for the future of CIR and proud of my having been one of the founding members! -Lee, UH Senior


My name is Courtney Stiles and I'm an alcoholic. I will be an incoming freshman for the 2014 fall semester at the University of Houston, as well as a member of CIR. During my first semester at University of Houston I expect CIR to help me incorporate a healthy balance between my recovery and my academics. I am positive that CIR will provide the essential tools, and resources, to keep me accountable & responsible for keeping my relationship with God and my recovery first, followed by keeping my school work my next priority. I know that CIR will encourage me to be persistent in achieving my academic goals, no matter what! I am also excited for the fellowship that CIR offers. It's comforting to know that I will not be the only sober student on campus fulfilling their dreams. I know that the members and staff members will play a vital role in my recovery and my college career (they already do). These are people that God has placed in my life to support, encourage & mentor me through this endeavor and for them, and their works, I am very grateful. They have been absolutely wonderful, and this is just the beginning!! CIR is helping me "grow-up" in public, literally. I am super stoked to be part of the CIR family, as well as a student at the University of Houston. I give the credit to God and the people that he has worked through to get me to this point in my recovery. My journey has led me to the University of Houston, what a beautiful gift from God. – "I really regret getting sober, said no one ever!". -Courtney, UH Freshman


Joining CIR was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Before joining I felt a fear about being on campus. I was afraid to eat lunch in the common areas or even explore the buildings on campus. I had no idea what the University had to offer me as a student. Now, I feel as if I have a purpose and a reason to be here. As a result, my grades have improved, and I actually enjoy coming to campus. I look forward to being a part of our group's growth and helping new students on their journey through academia and recovery. -Lauren, UH Junior


My name is Travis and I am in long-term recovery, which means I have not used any mind altering substances for 17 months. I am a part of the CIR program for the first time this upcoming semester and I am excited to be a part of such an up and coming program. I believe CIR will give me a safe environment to keep me grounded in my recovery. During the college semester it is easy for me to get so caught up in school that everything else goes out of the window. I need people in my life like John and Barbara to be there for support, healthy advising, and direction. This program offers me a chance to be away from the typical collegiate party scene and have fun in a sober environment. I look forward to the relationships I will build and the next few years to come! Go Coogs! -Travis, UH Junior