If you like your advice pat, your answers easy and your truth sugarcoated you’ve probably come to the wrong place.
But if you want straight talk from someone who genuinely knows of what he speaks, someone who exchanged the lonely vision of addiction for the broad landscape of recovery, someone who’s committed to living authentically and passionately and helping others do the same, someone who believes in making a difference instead of making excuses, who offers true hope to parents and real support to young adults struggling with tricky transitions, let me introduce myself.
I’m Danny Conroy. Over fifteen years ago, I co-founded AIM House – a residential mentorship program in Boulder, Colorado — where we help young people discover their strength, find their purpose, reinforce their relationships, claim their independence, and live the lives they’ve imagined. Along the way, friends, colleagues, participants in our program and their families have encouraged me to share my insight and outlook with as many other professionals, parents and young adults as possible. I created this website to do just that.
How did I come to be so passionate about helping young people through transitions? My bio lays out all the facts. But there’s more to the story.
I was raised between southern California and Boulder, Colorado. This because my parents divorced when I was eight. I understand broken families. Mine could be labeled that way. But I also know that as Leonard Cohen sings: “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” I focus on that.
I’m drawn to recovering addicts. I am one. Name the substance, I likely abused it at some point in my young life. By amazing grace, I eventually came to realize that I was powerless over my personal poisons. And – it’s a cliché but true – with the help of my higher power and the support of other addicts, my family and friends, I got sober. One day at a time. I like to pass that on.
My wife Mae and I lost our infant daughter McLaine when she was just a few weeks old. As anyone who has ever experienced the death of a child knows, a wound this deep never fully heals. But scarred as I am, I’m not a victim of this loss. It’s true that no matter how many years pass since McLaine took her last sweet breath, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wonder what might have been. I hear the perpetual whisper of her name. But I learned so much about love from my first born in her oh-so-short life. About the ephemeral nature of existence. About being present. About joy in the midst of pain. I’m blessed to share that with the four children that followed her into our family – and with every other parent’s child I encounter.
HERE’S THE DEAL.
I’m not a physician. I’m not a clinician. I wasn’t even a psychology major in college – in fact, my bachelor of arts from the University of Colorado happens to be in humanities. But for the better part of my life, I’ve been working in some capacity to help bring out the best in young people. Through years and years of real-world experience, I’ve gained a deep understanding of the challenges they face today. And I’ve had great success in helping them find their way through the often difficult transition to adulthood.
HERE ARE THE DETAILS.
I got my start Want the rundown? as a college student, when I worked with Boulder County’s EXPAND program for emotionally challenged children. After graduation, I moved on to the prestigious Sierra Tucson treatment https://edit-my-paper.net/ center, where I held the position of Intake Counselor and eventually, Alumni Coordinator. Next I worked as the Admissions Counselor, Admissions Director, buy accutane online
and Director of Professional Relations at CEDU in Running Springs, California. Finally, in 1999, building on the knowledge I’d gained at these treatment centers and therapeutic boarding schools, I created our highly respected and hugely successful mentorship program at in Boulder, Colorado. So far, over a thousand participants have been through the program. Since what they and their families say matters more than anything I would,
THAT’S NOT ALL.
Witnessing the empowering impact AIM House makes in so many young people’s lives is a privilege that’s beyond fulfilling. One that’s inspired me to expand on the program’s principles and philosophy through a host of complimentary ventures including:
AND THERE’S MORE.
As a volunteer I was instrumental in creating for terminally ill children at Children’s Hospital in Denver, now part of Centura Health. I serve as board chair of Boulder’s Horizon’s Elementary School and as a soccer coach for the Boulder County YMCA. I’m an avid hiker and skier. And most important, with my wife Mae Martin, I am the proud father of four children: Quinlan, Gracie, Devlin and Ronan. They teach me something new every day.
Read, watch or listen to learn about the ways I’m working helping people like you and those you love by reviewing the and section of the site.
My philosophy can be summed up pretty simply. Which doesn’t make it any easier to hear, I realize, since it places responsibility for each of our lives squarely on our own shoulders. Still, it’s what I know to be true, and what’s proven to be the foundation for positive change for http://edit-my-paper.net/ the many wonderful young adults who’ve crossed my path.
1. There is nothing wrong with you.
You are not inherently destined for a doomed life. You have problems, perhaps serious ones. You have made mistakes, perhaps big ones. You have fallen, perhaps far. But you have what it takes to start anew, to change your thoughts and behaviors, to live a life of purpose and joy. It’s not too late. And you’re not too damaged. Believe this: We are not the worst things we have done. Neither are we the best things. We are imperfect humans all, with many flaws but also great potential. Let’s forgive ourselves for the former and make the most of the latter.
2. You are not a victim.
Did your parents split up? Are you adopted? Were you emotionally abused? Sexually abused? Physically abused? Were you abandoned by a loved one? Did you witness a violent act? Do you have learning disabilities, physical disabilities, financial worries? Were you bullied? Ignored? Blamed? If so, like most people on this planet, you’ve suffered emotional trauma. You have every right to be angry and hurt about this — but not forever. Identifying as a victim does nothing but hold you back. Make up your mind to look at the trauma, work through it, and let it go. When you stop giving so much power to your past, you’ll find the present is wide open.
3. You must find your own way.
When it comes to your education, your career, your relationships, your very pursuit of happiness, only you can choose your path. No one else has the right or the responsibility to make these decisions for you. Which can be daunting, I know. There are so many options. What if the road you travel leads to a dead end? What if you take a wrong turn? What if you get stuck somewhere along the way? The answer is this: when you move in the direction of your dreams, you will find that opportunities arise at every step. Yes, you’ll have set backs. But you’ll learn from them, you’ll grow from them, and you’ll move on from them. And you’ll live an authentic, meaningful, fulfilling life in the process.
I attended AIM House in 2006. Over the last 10 years, I’ve watched over a thousand young adults go through the program and get the necessary help they were seeking. When I entered AIM House, I was 18, newly sober, and greatly struggling to get back on my feet. I had just failed to graduate high school and had squandered opportunities to attend college. I had no job, suffered from tremendous depression, and generally felt hopeless. At AIM, the team of mentors and therapists constructed a plan of action that allowed me to develop necessary skills, strengthen my recovery, and deal with my underlying issues. I received immense support during the 8 months I lived at AIM although ultimately I had to be the one to take the actions, nobody could live my life for me.
My time at AIM helped me build a foundation that led me to where I am today. I’ve started multiple companies, travelled the world, graduated from college, and have had a rich, wonderful life. I have incredible relationships with my family and community and I live a happy, stable, and useful life. I’m currently in a healthy long-term relationship (I had zero healthy relationships in my life when I arrived at AIM) and I’m receiving my MBA at a top university (I didn’t graduate high school and received my GED while at AIM). None of that would have been possible without the foundation I developed at AIM.
Out of the 1000+ people I’ve seen go through AIM House, I’ve watched many have a very similar experience to me. I’ve watched friends return to school, start successful careers, found companies, get married, rejoin their families and start ones of their own, and become the people that they were meant to be. Every one of those people would say that AIM house was a fundamental and crucial part of their journey.
I also know some that have gone through AIM house that have struggled upon leaving. AIM couldn’t help me if I wasn’t willing or able to help myself and the same is true of others. Still, I’ve watched a great deal of the people who struggled while at AIM or just after leaving get on their feet after some time. Some of those participants have called me years after they left and told me that AIM house helped plant the seed and develop skills that later sunk in and helped open their eyes. Ultimately, AIM can only provide the framework and tools. The participants have to choose to pick up the tools and use them.
If you or someone you love is looking for a place to develop structure, deal with core issues, or get a broken life back together, there’s no place I’d recommend more. I’m not just saying that. When a family member of mine was in inpatient treatment and asked me what they should do next, I immediately said “Come to Boulder and go to AIM House”. That family member followed my advice. Since attending AIM, they have graduated college, got engaged, and entered into the grad school of their dreams.
I will be eternally grateful for AIM House.
AIM House is an amazing transitional program for young adults. I owe my life to the therapists and staff that work at the program. I’m so grateful for how was I treated while I was there, as an individual person who needed some help getting my life back in order, rather than someone with an “illness” who needed treatment. I went to AIM House after I completed 90 days at a treatment program in UT.. I went because I had tried to get sober before and had been to a few programs like wilderness, boarding school, etc and couldn’t keep my life on track when I returned home or went to college.
AIM House helped me get back in school and find a job in Boulder, which is an amazing place to live as well as be sober in. There’s an amazing active community in Boulder that got me into hiking and running and I also was introduced to yoga while I was there and it became a big passion of mine. I was someone who did well in programs and structure but felt lost without the support.. I really needed to connect with community and figure out what I was passionate about so I could find the internal motivation to work and go back to school. The mentors at AIM House supported me in creating the goals I wanted, helped me when I stumbled a bit and stayed with me through the process. I worked at a local gym for a while and completed school, starting at community college and then graduated from Naropa University, a small private school in town. I got an amazing job working the mental health field because I loved the way people at AIM House worked with me and I wanted to help others with what I have experienced.
Most recently, I got married and moved to Santa Barbara and have a great job still in the mental health field, I got my yoga teacher training certificate and I’m in graduate school for counseling. My struggles today look like any normal person’s problems because I’ve learned how to build my own support system wherever I go, something I learned at AIM House. I also have a completely different relationship with my family today because of the family program at AIM House and the communication skills I learned there. I’m forever grateful to my primary mentor there, Jude in admissions and the founders Danny Conroy and Mae Martin. I love them all so much and whenever I get to visit Boulder, I always make sure to stop by and see how things are going.. the program continues to be a leader in the industry with their innovative and creative approaches to helping young adults.
I can’t say enough great things about Aim House. They have helped my son and our family tremendously! The founders, staff and therapists are all very caring, loving people who work hard to meet the needs of each individual participant. I don’t know what would have happened if we hadn’t gotten our son set up at Aim House. He was very unhappy and his life was out of control.
Aim House provided the structure, education, therapy, mentorship, environment and inspiration he needed to get his life back on track. The therapists are wonderful and available to the entire family, which meant a lot to us because we needed to rebuild trust within the relationship again. He has completed the Aim House program and has turned his life around. He is now reliable, holds down a job, has a girlfriend and friends and is loving life again. I feel like we got our son back, thanks to Aim House!
I highly recommend Aim House’s transitional support program to anyone who is looking to move their life ahead in a positive productive way.