The STAR Center features young people every month from across the country who are making a difference in their communities and demonstrating extraordinary leadership that you need to know about! Help us make sure young people in your community are recognized and valued by nominating someone today!
This month the STAR Center recognizes Matthew Petitte from Rochester, New York. Check out his story!
My name is Matthew Petitte and I work for Envolve-NY as a Peer Liaison. Some of my work includes promoting peer services as an evidence based cost effective healthcare strategy, working to increase peer service utilization and integration, promoting the inclusion of peers in system planning, and assisting with cross system collaboration. I have been in long term recovery from addiction and mental illness for over 11 years. I stopped using when I was 18. Due to a history of trauma and a hard and fast lifestyle change I have experienced some growing pains along the way.
I attribute my success to services I have received, recovery communities and programs I have been involved with, and the innate resiliency we all possess. Other professional experience I possess includes consulting with some of SAMHSA’s Technical Assistance Centers, performing trainings, and developing programs. I have been involved with the implementation of programs such as; a peer run respite, a peer employment program, a recovery center, and peer youth programming.
Insight I could pass on to other young leaders is to cultivate a purpose that is greater than yourself and stay open to learning how to most effectively live that purpose out. Also, get involved, even if we don’t reach the standards we place on ourselves we will grow from the experience and eventually develop more and more confidence and skill. Another suggestion is to find ways to connect with others who have more experience as leaders and even with recovery. Watch them, engage them, and learn from them. Lastly discover what beliefs and ways of thinking resonate with you as an individual rather than totally adopting someone else’s beliefs, but be willing to question, challenge, and shift those beliefs over time.