Kara M

Support: Collegiate Recovery Program

Greenville Technical College grad Kara Medlin is living a sober, purposeful life helping others who struggle with the same personal issues that drastically diminished her quality of life and ultimately lead to a 13-month prison sentence. Substance abuse and occasional homelessness took a toll on the 45-year-old.

She endured two failed marriages and losing custody of her children. The back-to-back deaths of an aunt and a grandmother was the event that put her on the road to sobriety.

“I used for a year wanting to die, then decided I didn’t want to die or live like that anymore,” Kara said.

Today, she’s a certified peer support specialist working in a research study at an Upstate university. Before that she volunteered as a recovery coach for a non-profit organization and also participated in the Collegiate Recovery Program at GTC.

“All of this has been part of my on-going recovery, and bettering myself and making a path for myself,” Medlin said. Mending broken family ties, regular church attendance and going back to Greenville Tech to finish what she started years before helped. She earned a degree in Human Services through persistence and a lot of support.

“I could go to any of the instructors that I had with questions or problems and they always got back with me. They were very involved.”

Instructor Tracie Raines knew Medlin’s background and wrote a letter recommending her for a pardon. After satisfying all requirements, Medlin was granted a pardon from the governor for her prior offenses – for which she had served time and paid restitution.

“Getting the pardon helped my confidence and it shows I have moved forward.”