Rural Community Builder Name:  Gina Myers

Community: Lincoln County, OR

Role: Nurture Oregon Peer: CACD I, Certified Peer Mentor, Doula

Recognized by: Lola Jones

What is one word or phrase that describes this person as an RCB: Empowered Women Empower Women

Tell us a bit about what you appreciate about them as an RCB:

Gina and I first met when she was a client in my transitional housing program. I watched her walk through the fire of her early sobriety alongside her now-husband and their two youngest children. They were facing an uphill battle to truly reunify their family: Gina and Todd each had children that were out of their care and extended family relationships were strained. There were legal woes, financial insecurity, and the daily grind of early recovery. And now, they were the parents of two under two in a 600 square foot apartment.

In my work, I meet a lot of people who “know it all, have done it all, and can tell you all about it.” When I meet people who acknowledge that maybe their way isn’t working, I know that they’re ready for change. Gina was and continues to be curious and learning oriented. Whether it’s her work, her home life, or her social relationships; Gina is someone who challenges herself to know more, understand deeply, and act with enlightenment. When her family graduated from the program, she dedicated her life to solidifying her newly reunified family, building her husband’s business, and serving her community as a recovery professional.

Today, Gina and I work together in a pilot program that engages with pregnant people who are using substances. We support our clients to access treatment, deliver their children safely, and maintain positive changes. We support each other to do hard things with grace and dignity. We support our colleagues to stay with us when things seem hopeless. We support our community to be resilient through hardship and celebratory in success.

They say if you want to make a difference in this world, go home and love your family. Gina did that, and wouldn’t you know: the world is a better place because of it.