Rise Recovery Staff Spotlight: Ian Boarnet

Ian Boarnet, RSPS
Peer Recovery Coach for Rise Inspire Academy

Rise Recovery’s Ian Boarnet, RSPS, sat down with us to talk about his journey going from participant to staff member, life as a Rise Inspire Academy (RIA) youth peer recovery coach and what it means for him to tell his story to the youth.

So, tell me about yourself and what you do at Rise Recovery?

I am a peer recovery coach for our recovery high school which means I use get to use my experience of getting sober at Rise Recovery to show the people that recovery is possible and perhaps will help lead them to recovery.

 Can you talk about your experience with Rise going from participant to staff member?

So, I had been living in Austin before I went to being a staff member for about a year and a half prior before starting at Rise. It was weird because I was separated, but not too much. It was cool being on the other side of things (going from participant to a staff member) and being able to pass on what wisdom was given to me.

What type of legacy do you want to leave here at Rise when it comes to the RIA program?  

I hope the students are able to learn a thing or two about me and the tools I used to stay sober.

Ian speaks to the Winners’ Circle at Churchill Highschool, 2022

What type of advice would you give a student who’s starting at RIA?

Stay honest, open-minded, and willing. Remember that we’re here to help you and that you’re loved the second you walk through those doors.

What do you think makes the RIA program so unique to Rise?

When I was a group member here it was when Bea (staff profile) was starting the recovery high school. When RIA started, it provided the opportunity to bring what Rise does to a school setting which, in my opinion, is very important for teenagers to have that resources. Adults have sober homes, but teenagers need something like a recovery high school because most teens spend more time at school than they do at home.

What is your favorite thing about working with RIA?  

I’m able to be a part of something that I wish I had.

What advice would you give someone starting in their recovery journey?

Recovery is not something you do on your own. No one gets sober by running off of their own ideas. We get sober by finding someone who has what we want and by doing what they did.

What advice would you give someone wanting to work in the recovery field?

Continue to work on your recovery; continue to stay sober. People don’t hire us for any fancy degree, they hire us for the knowledge we gain through our own experience.

Ian, Valerie and Jessica receive recognition from Incarnate Word University for their outreach efforts surrounding substance-use education.