Recovery is Happening…

MARCO is a peer-run organization, led and governed by individuals affected by Substance Use Disorders who have direct experience in Recovery Community Organization (RCO) leadership and programs. Over the next few months we’ll be featuring some of our Board Members and their personal connection to MARCO’s mission to educate, advocate and mobilize the grassroots recovery movement across Minnesota.


Board Member Jenna Christensen is the Executive Director at Rochester’s Recovery is Happening, one of the first Recovery Community Organizations in Minnesota, established over a decade ago. A woman in long-term recovery, Jenna started her work with Recovery Is Happening as a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist and moved into the Operations Manager position before becoming its Executive Director in 2022.  We asked Jenna to share her personal journey that brought her to her role at Recovery is Happening. 


Recovery is Happening…


“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28


I grew up in the Lutheran church, which provided me with a foundation of Christianity, but I didn’t understand what a relationship with God looked like until He met me in a jail cell in 2018.  That day in jail, an officer recited Romans 8:28. As my recovery program developed, I found how God indeed was able to pull the good out of my addiction.


This officer offered me a life raft and reminded me how God had carried me and would continue to do so.


At that point, I was unfamiliar with Celebrate Recovery and its transformative power. I reached out to my pastor, and together we introduced this program at our church. It was during this time that I truly felt the impact of helping others find their own recovery path.  In 2019, I pursued a certification to become a peer recovery specialist, completing my training at Minnesota Recovery Connection. This certification led me to Recovery Is Happening, where I was fortunate enough to be hired as a Peer Recovery Specialist.


Law enforcement played a pivotal role in my recovery journey, offering me a second chance. I built a stronger connection with God through my church, my sponsor, and the support of Celebrate Recovery. I was able to reclaim my life. 


Each day, I focus on taking another step in my recovery journey that aids in strengthening the life I have built and for which I want to stay sober. Being in a leadership position in a Recovery Community Organization has allowed me the opportunity to provide each person in pursuit of recovery with a personalized pathway of their choosing that assists them in building their new life in recovery. As a woman living in long-term recovery, I strive to be a beacon of hope, a guide, and a support system for those in recovery. I use my personal experiences and professional training to help others navigate their own recovery journeys.  Sharing my personal and professional experiences have allowed me to find incredible fulfillment in my life by showing that yes, recovery is happening!


To learn more about Jenna and Recovery is Happening, click here:


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