Shining Light Ministries recently held an awards ceremony with an appearance by Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero. Others at the event included (from left) Jennifer Cook, Jennifer Hightower, Gina Banks, Megan Moseley, Jayelyn Livingston and Shining Light Founder Teresa Bestwick.
McDONOUGH — Shining Light Ministries graduate Jennifer Cook said the 12-month recovery program helped get her life back.
“I have healed the rift in my immediate family and re-established visitation and soon to be partial custody of my 13-year-old son,” said Cook. “I remarried in May of 2012 and we are currently expecting a baby girl.”
Cook was a doctor when she entered the Shining Light program in 2010 to deal with an addiction to prescription drugs, said Founder and Executive Director Teresa Bestwick.
“She was a doctor and got into pain medication,” said Bestwick. “She wanted to change and she did an outstanding job for her year. She did quite well.”
Cook said the addiction-recovery program at Shining Light was instrumental in helping her reconnect with her loved ones. Shining Light held an annual ceremony for them, giving out awards for graduates and residents. Cook received an award for community service in Henry.
Cook said completing Shining Light also helped her to get a job. She is a full-time employee of Walgreens at Lake Dow in McDonough, where she was recently promoted to the head of the photo department.
“I have been a regular attendee of Celebrate Recovery and member of Community Bible [Church] since April 2010,” said Cook. “In April 2012, I began leading the women’s chemically dependent small group. I also co-lead the Newcomers 101 group with my husband one Thursday a month.”
Each of the graduates was ordered to take part in Shining Light Ministries by Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero. Bestwick, who started the recovery program six years ago, said the ceremony allowed women in the program to express their gratitude to Amero.
“They all stood up in honor of him giving them a chance to turn their lives around,” said Bestwick.
Also recognized at the awards ceremony were 2011 graduates Jennifer Hightower and Shannon Lorton; 2010 graduates Jayelyn Livingston and Dawn Long; 2009 graduate Gina Banks and 2008 graduate Megan Moseley.
“It just tells you how successful Shining Light’s program is,” said Bestwick. “We’ve had 26 women successfully complete the 12-month program, and 91 percent of them are still clean and sober and contributing to the community. They’re taxpayers, they’re working and they’ve got their kids back.”
The ceremony also honored counselor Roosevelt Gates. He holds an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Saint Leo University. Bestwick said Gates is seeking certification as a certified addictions counselor.
“This coursework has consisted in several hundred hours in education pertaining to the treatment of addictions,” she said.