Harvest Farm is excited to offer an innovative Peer Leader Program as an opportunity to support both graduates of the New Life Program and current participants. It is designed for graduates of the New Life Program, who have successfully shown their self-sufficiency in the community and want to pass along their experiences with current participants. They come back and live on the Farm and join the Peer Leader Program.
Throughout their one year commitment to the program, they remain employed full-time elsewhere, while actively mentoring current participants. This is through meeting the men in their place of needs, whether it is a friendly face in an AA meeting, a gym partner who pushes them to remain consistent in their routine or simply talking to someone who understands what they’re going through. In addition to being a general peer and friend to many of the current participants, they work to receive their Peer Specialist Training through the Colorado Mental Wellness Network, as well as have the option to receive training to be a Certified Addiction Counselor through Colorado Counselor Training.
Mission Statement of the Peer Leader Program at Harvest Farm
The goal of the Peer Leader Program at Harvest Farm is for former New Life Program graduates to invest back into current participants, and help individuals become self-sufficient, productive members of society, by sharing their lived experience. It is our belief that the best way to accomplish this is to provide these individuals with a healthy community and guided discipline.
Meet One of Our Peers
Taylor graduated our New Life Program in 2019. Prior to graduating, Taylor thought he’d hit rock bottom. He realized he needed to make a change and joined the New Life Program with hopes of mending relationships with his family and experiencing things he’d only dreamed of. Taylor was eager to make any changes necessary to get his life back on track. He spoke about his time as a program participant and how it has shaped his success after leaving Harvest Farm.
“Coming [to Harvest Farm] was rough at first, because I was so weak and broken, but every day I did something to improve myself. They always would ask us, what we come here for and to take note of it. They would stress to focus on why you’re here. This was like boot camp for me. To gain as much from this program as possible for when I did graduate and get back in the real world, I would have the best chance for success, sobriety, and to make an impact.”
Along with being a peer leader and working full-time, Taylor is also studying to get his Certified Addiction Counselor Certification as well as his Personal Training Certification. He feels one of the keys to success in his recovery has been to remain constant with his routines and practice the same discipline in the gym. Many of the program participants see his devotion and consistency and feel drawn to do the same. He hopes to receive both certifications and come out of this program ready to continue to meet people in their place of need and help them achieve their goals. Taylor always tells the guys he mentors;
“Get disciplined, get a routine, and when you get out, nothing should change. Stay the course.”
Taylor says the Peer Leader Program has been an opportunity to continue to better himself every day. This is a huge gift in which he hopes to give back a little of what he’s been given, whether it’s an interaction with a current participant or getting to participate in the AA meetings with like-minded men;
“It’s a reminder to remain humble and stay grounded.”
We currently have three active Peer Leaders. These men are a huge asset in the recovery platform. They are choosing to give back the same encouragement they once received when they made the decision to change their life and receive the life God has instore for them.