Daniel Cooper was years from graduating high school when he first started drinking at a level that made everyone’s head turn. Years later, the parties ended, but the drinking hung around.
Cooper was a man of the road from birth to his first career as a truck driver. He calls North Carolina his home state, but he recalls his military parents traveling from base to base and job to job. After earning his GED at 18, Cooper knew he was ready for the workforce.
He would spend nearly two decades as a truck driver. As life evolved, so did his. He got married, had children, and even settled down in a home. However, the drinking persisted and caused his truck driving career and life to hit a standstill.
“In my line of activities, naturally, I lost my license and went to jail,” said Cooper. “So that career was over. I went from having a wife, kids, house, good job, to nothing.”
Cooper would spend months living on the streets. Then, as he lost more, he turned to the bottle for reassurance every chance he could.
“Drinking would numb that. It numbed me to where I just didn’t care.”
Eventually, Cooper decided to seek treatment. He found a recovery program but then heard about Addiction Recovery Care’s (ARC) “Crisis to Career” model and asked to transfer to an ARC facility.
“The opportunities were put in front of me, and I was amazed and skeptical — very skeptical at first, but why not try it? Why not listen? And the people telling me all these hopes that I had for the future were just like me. It was easier for me to open my ears and shut my mouth,” said Cooper.
Daniel would begin an internship with ARC’s Second Chance Auto garage. The garage allows clients to learn hands-on skills in the automotive technician industry with hopes of helping clients find full-time jobs in another garage once their treatment has ended.
During his time working on vehicle after vehicle Daniel says he found his calling and knew this could be the start of something great for his life. Months later, he was the first to graduate from the program with a coveted Automotive Certificate of Excellence. The certificate is sought out by employers who need high leverage and skilled labor.
“For a long time, I wasn’t making anyone proud, not even myself. To make other people proud means I am doing it right.”
It would not be long before a specialty garage was seeking Daniel out. AAMCO Transmissions and Total Car Care in Lexington, Kentucky, hired Daniel and says he was the perfect fit.
“I gave him a chance, but he has got it all,” said local AAMCO owner Brian Lundborg. “To be able to have a person that can hit the ground running right from day one, that is the ultimate.”
Lundborg says that the success he has seen in Daniel has opened his mind to helping more people, just like his new all-star technician.
“I just look at him [Daniel] as an opportunity to try to help others just like him,” said Lundborg. Daniel is a great first start. I am beyond hopeful that we are going to see great things out of Daniel and, as for what I have seen, I think there is going to be great opportunity down the road.”
Daniel is still receiving support from Addiction Recovery Care as he takes on this new adventure.
If you or someone you know needs a new start, just like Daniel, please reach out. A representative would love to speak with you about your treatment needs and begin a journey to a new life alongside you. Call 606-289-2979 or visit arccenters.com to learn more.