My name is Ramzy, and I am a peer support specialist with NJPR. Support, in my opinion, is the foundation of my recovery. I have had many ups and downs in my recovery, but this past year, by far, has been the most challenging. Without support, it would have been almost impossible.

After 19 years, I decided to go back to school to finish the last two semesters for my undergraduate degree. I entered back in the Fall 2019 semester with a 1.9 GPA and the willingness and resiliency atypical for a college student. In August, I sustained a severe neck injury that was all but crippling to my day-to-day life. In December of 2019, I had a cervical disc replacement. Shortly after having 2 titanium discs put into my neck, I suffered another massive blow. My brother passed away. Looking back in retrospect now, I sometimes can’t believe how I pulled through. I can say that on-going grief support and therapy was paramount.

As of last week, not only did I graduate with my Bachelor’s degree but I managed to make Dean’s list in Fall and Spring semesters, bringing my GPA up to a 3.0. I got accepted into and am now enrolled in a graduate program. When my peers tell me how uncertain they are about finishing school or overcoming adversity, I simply share my story of resiliency. Life is a challenge. We all know that, but it’s about navigating those challenges. We are all going to fall, that’s not a question. The beautiful advice I have for my peers is this, if you have enough resiliency, you will see this through to the other side, and always remember, everything is temporary. Even this life. It is short, so live with purpose.