Conor J. Dunleavy Memorial Funds to Help Men in Recovery Go to College
Madison, WI June 26, 2013/Aaron J. Meyer Foundation, Inc. Abuse of alcohol and other drugs exacts an enormous toll on intellectual and social lives of college students across America. The consequences of young lives under the influence of alcohol alone will shock you. Every year about 1,825 students between the ages of 18-24 die of alcohol related incidents*. For a typical school year that’s about 8 students a day in America.
The collateral damage to families, other students, and college communities at large is staggering: 600,000 injuries, 700,000 assaults, and 97,000 victims of alcohol related sexual assault and date rape. With such remarkable numbers it’s easy to see that recovery from substance use addiction pays huge dividends to the student getting well and the community. In Madison, Aaron’s House has provided a sober living option for college students in recovery since 2007. The Student Residents commit to participating in a peer support plan to help each other do the next right thing one day at a time and one of those right things is getting back on track in college. This fall the residents will have more help with paying tuition thanks to a gift from the Chris and Brian Dunleavy, parents of Conor J. Dunleavy of Madison.
You may remember, Conor was killed when the car he was a passenger in was struck from behind by an intoxicated driver last August 21st near Sun Prairie. Conor was about to enter an extended inpatient treatment for his substance addiction and his parents had been looking forward to Conor moving from inpatient to Aaron’s House and on with his education. Chris and Brian Dunleavy, career educators in Madison, said, “We like to think Conor is flashing his wonderful smile knowing he’s helping other young men who know what he knows about the challenges and hope of recovery. Aaron’s House is the kind of supportive home environment where Conor would have excelled. June 27th is Coner’s birthday. This scholarship is a birthday gift from Conor to the community.” According to Tom Meyer, one of the creators of Aaron’s House, education is a serious component for the student-residents on their recovery journey. “The guys who come to Aaron’s House to build on their recovery are smart and capable young men. They know that education opens the doors they are ready to walk through. Education is known to be a positive attribute to recovery for young persons. The Conor J. Dunleavy Scholarship will reward and inspire the residents for their smart work. I know the guys are thrilled to have an opportunity to earn a scholarship. They have respect for the Dunleavy family and one of our residents knew Conor. This is a special gift.” Tom shares the loss of a son with Chris and Brian. Aaron who was killed in a car crash in 2005 inspired the creation of Aaron’s House with his own plan for recovery living and education after high school. Tom observed, “It will be interesting to see how the residents continue Conor’s spirit and give life to Chris and Brian’s bond with their son through their work on their education in recovery.”
About Aaron J. Meyer Foundation, Inc.
Aaron’s House is located at 850 E Gorham St Madison WI. Open to young men ages 18-26 in substance use recovery. Aaron’s House is a sober living residence designed around peer support, education, outside counesling, relationship building, and employment. There is currently one room available at Aaron’s House, for more information: www.AaronsHouseMadison.org. For women there is a comparable house opening in August: Connect House Sober Living at www.ConnectHouse.Org. *Statistics from www.NIAAA.NIH.gov
Tom Meyer, House Operations Director
Aaron J. Meyer Foundation, Inc.