“Something Had to Change. That Something Was Everything.”

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. 


This month we sat down with new MARCO Board Member Sean Partch and asked him to talk about how he got involved in the grassroots recovery movement.


Something had to change. That something was everything.


MARCO: How did you first step into your role in recovery? Can you share your story?

Sean: My journey in recovery began at the beginning of my last stay with the Minnesota Department of Corrections DOC). I decided something had to change. That something was everything. I graduated from a 6-month program called TRIAD and then stayed on as a peer mentor and clerk for the treatment staff for the next year. I got involved with the Leader Dogs for the Blind as a puppy raiser and am still involved today with that organization. I began to chair the Wednesday night AA meeting inside the Lino Lakes correctional facility and continued that for 3 years. Upon my release from my stay of incarceration I started volunteering with the Recovery Community Network (RCN) and got involved with local 12-step recovery meetings and the St Cloud Intergroup. I have since been promoted to Programs/Operations Manager for RCN and have been involved with multiple boards in the central Minnesota area in the field of recovery. I am now a certified Peer Recovery Specialist with a forensic endorsement and work closely with those affected by the criminal justice system. 


MARCO: Do you have any advice or tips to someone who is just starting their grassroots efforts in the recovery community?

Sean: My advice to anyone wanting to get involved with your local RCOs is go for it. Follow your passion for recovery, reach out to those who have forged the path ahead of you. Everyone I have met in the field of recovery has been so helpful.


MARCO: What is the most rewarding part of working in recovery for you?

Sean: The most rewarding part of working in recovery is seeing the growth and glow that another fellow human being in recovery has when they follow their path to recovery and are living in a recovered state. The fact that my Higher Power has blessed me to be of maximum service to those around me is a gift I will never take for granted. 


MARCO: What have been some of your greatest tools in sustaining your recovery?

Sean: The tools I use to stay living in a recovered state are self care, attending local 12-step recovery meetings, and working closely with those affected by a Substance Use Disorder. 


MARCO: What does “building a recovery-oriented future,” mean to you? 

Sean: A “Recovery Oriented Future” to me is a world where everyone affected by a substance use disorder has the opportunity to recover. A world where the stigma and shame no longer exist, A world where people are free to enter a path to recovery and be afforded the same opportunities as everyone else.


MARCO: What brought you to MARCO?

Sean: What brought me to MARCO was a passion for the ethical guidelines for RCOs and CPRS workers within Minnesota and the rest of the country. To be a part of this board gives me a voice to help develop the landscape for existing and emerging RCOs. 


MARCO: Do you have a favorite quote you would like to share?

Sean: “I can’t. We can. God will. ”

​​To learn more about Sean Partch, read his full bio here: https://marcomn.org/staff-board/


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