National Youth Recovery Foundation and YMCA of Montclair Form ASPIRE​ Recovery Program for Young Adults

ASPIRE​ Recovery Program

National Youth Recovery Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports young people up to age 30 in recovery from drugs and alcohol. Cathie Hartnett, the Executive Director and Montclair resident, established a partnership with the YMCA in Montclair to developed a pilot program called ASPIRE (Achieving Sobriety by Promoting an Insightful Recovery Experience), which is funded in part by Partners for Health Foundation.

ASPIRE is a community based life-skill oriented program for people between the ages of 18 and 30 who have six months or more of recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol. What makes ASPIRE different from many recovery programs, is that it is not associated with treatment, aftercare, Alcoholics Anonymous or any other recovery program. Instead, life, health and community are the key components. And since recovery is an ongoing, long-term process, an important element is building a community and a network for recovery that will last a lifetime. Following the three-month intensive ASPIRE program there is a nine monthly meeting follow-up phase.

Harnett says the YMCA has been amazing with their willingness to invite this portion of the community into their organization. Local professionals, many who have been in recovery for years, also have joined to make ASPIRE a success.

“ASPIRE helps participants feel relevant in life,” says YMCA of Montclair CEO Jo Ann Short. “Given the right tools, those in recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol, can be set up for success and get back on track to develop sustainable relationships and make their mark. ASPIRE provides these things in a stigma free environment.”

Program Leader George Burroughs says when he was approached by Cathie Hartnett over two years ago with an idea to develop a program for young adults in recovery from drugs and alcohol addiction, he jumped at the chance.

“I was in my 20s when I entered into a program of recovery over 27 years ago, and have been sober ever since. It is a great opportunity to be able to give back. Also, as a high school teacher, I enjoy working with young people, and this is a great opportunity to bring together both my years of experience teaching with my years of recovery to develop a program to help young people maintain long term sobriety.”


In addition to the ASPIRE curriculum, program participants will also receive:

  • A one year membership at the YMCA of Montclair;
  • A scholarship at the end of the three-month intensive to further their education or training, including payment of student loans; and
  • A travel stipend to cover transportation to and from the program.

To learn more about the ASPIRE program, email here  or call Cathie Hartnett at NYRF 651-335-3988.





Click here to sign up for Baristanet's free daily emails and news alerts.