Inaugural Peer One Rising Star 2015
As our first Peer One Rising Star Award recipient at the Celebrate Healing in Recovery luncheon (back in September), Karius began his addiction at a young age with a family history of alcohol and drug use. Tragedy struck the Cross household when an infant brother passed away unexpectedly leaving the entire family searching for answers. Karius took it particularly hard becoming angry and looking for answers with the wrong crowd. Karius joined the Air Force and successfully progressed through the ranks using intimidation tactics and controlling behaviors. After completing his service, Karius let his addiction get even farther out of control and ended up committing and being convicted of multiple crimes in 1998.
While in prison, Karius heard about Peer One and wanted to go. He was deigned access to the Peer One Therapeutic Community because he had not served enough of his sentence. Instead of giving up, Karius prayed for another option. He applied to participate in the Therapeutic Community within the walls of the prison system. He was deigned access to that a few times before finally being accepted.
Karius embraced the philosophy becoming a leader in the prisons’ therapeutic community. He never lost hope that one day he would be accepted into Peer One. On September 11, 2008, Karius finally walked on to the Fort Logan Campus after serving only 10 years of his sentence– this was the first miracle and he has since been blessed with many more.
Today, Karius works as a Federal employee with the Department of Veterans Affairs as a case worker. He has a large case load and inspires veterans as well as current clients at Peer One to live life in recovery!
Gratitude, Appreciation, and Humility
I was honored to be the recipient of the 2015 Rising Star award from Friends of the Haven. This was one of the proudest moments of my life. It still blows my mind to have people look up to me and tell me what an inspiration I am to them. To have such a beautiful award given to me and to be given the opportunity to tell my story of my recovery to the guests at the luncheon was surreal. I know how far I have come, and how different I am than the person I use to be, but to have other people, normal people, not addicts recognize that is such a defining moment in my journey. This will be an afternoon that is highly regarded by me, and will be repeated many times over when I share my accomplishments with peers. Thank you for recognizing the journey we are on, and for investing in the recovery process.