We are excited to announce the hiring of Krystal Grudinsky, CSC-AD, as the new MARC Collegiate Recovery Specialist. Krystal will step into the role formerly held by Sarah MacDonald, MARC’s former Collegiate Recovery Specialist, who will be moving into a new role as a MARC Primary Therapist.

The Collegiate Recovery Specialist at MARC manages the Caron’s College Success™ at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center program. Understanding the difficulties navigating early recovery and higher education, and many of the barriers such an environment creates, several years ago MARC partnered with Caron Treatment Centers to implement Caron’s proven academic support program College Success. This proven program allows for any appropriate MARC patients that need to further their academic and educational careers to receive cutting edge services that address their educational and academic goals. MARC’s Collegiate Recovery Specialist, as a member of the MARC clinical team, supports patients through individual and group settings, helping patients clarify, define, and reach their academic ambitions. This is further supported by the College Success team at Caron Treatment Centers, who provide additional insight, support, and resources to MARC’s Collegiate Recovery Specialist and MARC patients.

“My clinical philosophy is grounded in the idea that each patient is capable and deserving of reaching their goals,” said Krystal. “I strive to bridge the gap between recovery and academics, to help patients set themselves up for a successful future. As a first-generation college student, it brings me joy to be able to help others navigate collegiate tasks, as I used to wish for such help for myself. Between assisting students find their passion, watching them learn to hold themselves accountable, and seeing the hope grow in their eyes, I am more aware than ever that I am incredibly grateful to be at MARC.”

Krystal comes to MARC as a former employee. She began working at MARC as a Therapist Assistant, providing direct patient care and support as a member of the extended care Community Living Treatment recovery support staff. During her time as a TA, Krystal was engaged in her own journey of education and higher learning and completed her college internship at MARC. Once receiving her CSC-AD certification, Krystal left MARC to pursue her clinical career, working as a counselor during the COVID-19 pandemic and providing patients suffering from substance use disorder and addiction individual and group counseling services. She returns to MARC with a fuller experience as a clinician, with the ability to better support a more direct patient population.

Krystal is certified in psychological first aid, has her Behavioral Health Advanced certification, and received her AA in Human Services Counseling. She is currently still on her personal academic journey, working towards her Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She is due to receive her B.S. in 2023.

As the Collegiate Recovery Specialist at MARC, Krystal provides direct care services to MARC patients pursuing their academic and educational goals, but also offers support, guidance, and direction to the families of patients. Additionally, Krystal helps to manage and navigate the entirety of a patient’s academic experience, working with the patient/student, family, and the colleges and universities involved in the process. This can include working with a school’s admissions department, financial aid department, department of student affairs, individual teachers or professors, counseling centers and school clinicians, and any recovery support that may exist at the school or on campus, such as a collegiate recovery program (CRP) or collegiate recovery community (CRC.)

Additional responsibilities that Krystal handles include:

  • Arranging medical leave for students entering treatment
  • Helping students gain acceptance to a college, university of technical school
  • Supporting students in completing a degree they started before entering treatment
  • Assisting students in transferring credits from prior study or educational experience
  • Developing an educational plan, tailored by goal and grade level
  • Guiding students to creating a budget for the school year
  • Identifying potential scholarships or grant opportunities
  • Collaborating with clinical and recovery teams to identify the best suited college programs, based on educational needs, career goals and interests
  • Providing advocacy for high school students in the areas of GED prep, selecting tutors, course planning, and other necessary opportunities

Overall, as MARC’s Collegiate Recovery Specialist, Krystal manages each patient’s journey receiving life-saving treatment into becoming a student engaged in their academic path. She is both a clinician and advocate, an advisor and a liaison between patient/student, family, and institution of higher learning. With this aid and support, MARC patients find their journey from early recovery back into higher learning is a smoother, more effective transition that better sets them up for success in both recovery and school.

“We are thrilled to have Krystal join our clinical team,” said MARC Clinical Director Arielle Seidler, LCSW-C. “She has extensive experience working with young people in early recovery and is passionate about supporting them as they reach their goals. Krystal is very focused on building relationships with nearby schools to help our patients transition into students. We are so excited to see what she will bring to the MARC college success program.”

If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorder issues, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at info@marylandaddictionrecovery.com. For more information on all of our drug addiction, alcohol addiction and co-occurring disorder services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.