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Ohio State’s Collegiate Recovery Community celebrates 10 years

Program helps students navigate recovery process

When Ahmed Hosni, assistant director of the Student Life Student Wellness Center and head of the Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) at The Ohio State University, first arrived in Columbus 10 years ago, he didn’t think he’d be a Buckeye for long. A decade later, however, he’s still on campus.

“Being an employee at Ohio State is so advantageous,” he said. “The sense of purpose you get working with students who are in recovery … made it hard to feel like the grass is greener anywhere else.”

Hosni has been with the CRC almost since the beginning, joining the fledgling organization in 2015. The organization works with students who are seeking recovery from substance misuse.  

Since 2015, 70 CRC members have graduated from Ohio State, with another six scheduled to graduate in the spring. 

“There are so many moments of pride,” Hosni said when asked about memories from the last decade. “There have been students you weren’t sure were going to get across the finish line. When they did, it felt momentous.”

One of the significant changes Hosni noted between 2024 and 2015 is that the CRC is fully enmeshed in the university today.

“What comes with time is developing roots in a community,” he said. “I think our program is something that folks know about now. We’ve worked hard to raise awareness about the program. I believe we are one of the flagship collegiate recovery communities in the country.”

In addition to community support, the CRC’s financial support has also grown. Ahmed Hosni

“We started with a grant, some hopes and some dreams,” Hosni said. “Now we have two funded scholarship endowments, and we receive support from alumni who care about this program and care about the idea that students in recovery deserve the opportunity to have a safe place on campus to pursue their dreams. [We all believe] that having a substance-use disorder doesn’t mean your life is over. You can reinvent yourself.”

The focus of the CRC has always been students, said Mackenzie Hogan, the CRC’s wellness coordinator. What has changed over the years is how students approach their recovery.

“I think we’re seeing more diverse pathways to recovery,” she said. “That’s exciting because it brings new breath to the community and shows that there’s not one set way to do things.”

In addition to new recovery options, there are also new challenges for students, she said.

“One thing we’ve been looking at recently is gambling, which is now legal in the state,” she said. “What does it look like to make sure we have at least informal support for students who need us for that?”

Helping students beyond Ohio State’s reach is now a priority for the CRC as well, Hosni said.

“We’ve found a formula that works for supporting students,” he said, “no matter what walk of life they come from. I’m excited for us to be able to share that in a meaningful way with as many people as possible. We can positively influence college students that we’ll never meet.”

As Hosni looks back on the last 10 years, he is sure that part of the CRC’s success is an unwillingness to settle for average.

“I think if nothing changed and the CRC stayed in Baker Hall and continued to support students and help staff and faculty understand how to back students through our training, everyone would be happy,” he said. “But that’s not the Buckeye way. We want to keep pushing the envelope. We want to keep growing this thing and see how we can make a better experience for students, how we can contribute to the growing field of recovery programs across the country.”

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