Resident Spotlight

This month we are spotlighting another one of our outstanding residents! Read below to learn more about our senior resident, Rebekah. Rebekah just celebrated one-year in our program and it has been an honor to work with her. She is kind, compassionate, and dedicated to changing her life.

Rebekah’s Story

I used to be at the Salvation Army and the caseworker said I would be a good fit for Magdalene Serenity House. I originally came from Southern Arkansas to build a better life than what I had there. I was involved with the wrong people back home and experienced sexual abuse, violence, and kidnapping and I knew I had to get away to change my people, places, and things. Back then, it was just easier to stick a needle in my arm and forget about it.

I heard stories about MSH at first about strict rules, but I knew I needed structure. All the negative things I heard were exactly what I needed. I am very blessed to be here. I knew coming here was the best thing for me and if I ever wanted to be anything for my kids I would have to get help from others. This is the best program to get help from because they show you love and support.

I have been at Magdalene for a year now. I no longer have Hepatitis C, I was able to get dentures, and I got my record cleared. I also got my driver’s license reinstated, I have a great job at the University, and I’m getting better at socializing and trusting, which are hard for me. I have also been sober for about a year and a half and I am staying on my medication. Additionally, I’m learning how to live life the healthy way and that although my past was not right, it matters more what I’m doing now. You can have a different life. I have even stopped smoking.

I plan on staying in Fayetteville and I want to go to school to help others succeed. I could maybe see myself working in peer support or counseling. I just want to help people who are like I was because I empathize with them. Also, I want to be able to give back to Magdalene House and stay focused on staying sober. When the time is right, I want to be more involved with my children and I’d like to be a good sister and family member.

I love MSH. It’s a family — a healthy family. They help you become a better person if you give the program a chance and are open and honest. MSH is a lifesaver and if I can go through the program then I know others can follow suit. My advice to others seeking help is to “be trusting, be open, and be willing to do the work”.

-Rebekah, Phase Three Resident

Staff Spotlight

This month we are shining a light on our Executive Director, April Bachrodt. April has been involved with MSH since 2015 and was a founding Board Member. Prior to being at MSH, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas School of Social Work. April has always had a passion for empowering women and jumped at the chance to be involved with MSH and took an even bigger leap of faith when she left the university to be the Program Director at MSH. The leap was worth it and April enjoys walking alongside the MSH residents and supporting them on their healing journey.

In her role as the ED, April oversees the daily operations of MSH, works one-on-one with residents, designs and facilitates groups, supervises staff and interns, curates the website and social media platforms, manages the finances, and assists Ashley with development and fundraising. She truly looks forward to going to work each day and hopes to continue to grow and strengthen the program at MSH.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband Stefan and their 4-year old daughter Andie. They recently purchased a small camper and have been traveling to different state parks in Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley. Andie has grown up with MSH and often asks to “see the ladies” and “play with the toys” at MSH. April is also an avid parks and rec kickball, softball, and volleyball player!

MSH is truly a special place to work and April is continually inspired by our residents and the generosity of the NWA community. She looks forward to many years to come with the residents and staff at MSH!

-April Bachrodt LCSW, PhD

Program Achievements

Our residents continue to achieve their goals and move forward in their recovery. We have four residents in Phase Three of our program preparing for graduation next year! We are so proud of each of our residents strength and perseverance during this challenging and unpredictable time.

  • Two of our residents celebrated ONE YEAR at MSH. We enjoyed celebrating all of their hard work at MSH! Check out the party pictures below.
  • One of our graduates celebrated ONE YEAR clean and sober. She is enjoying her new apartment and parenting her 11-year old son!
  • One of our residents moved into Phase Three of our program. In Phase Three we focus on planning for graduation and transitioning into the community.
  • One of our newest residents presented her portfolio and moved into Phase Two of the program. She is busy searching for employment.
  • Sophia, our first graduate and Resident Support Specialist, completed her Peer Recovery Support Specialist training!
  • Two of our residents had quotes featured in the new Thistle Farms book “Find Your Way: 20 Practices that Tie Us Together”.

New Dental Partner

We are thrilled to have a new dental partner to help meet the dental needs of our residents. A big thank you to Dr. Beth Bowen for reaching out and offering to see our residents at her new practice. We cannot wait to work with you! You can learn more about Dr. B. on her website and Facebook . Thank you Dr. Bowen for your generosity! We are grateful for your continued support of our mission.

Resident Support Specialist

This month Sophia worked on updating our referral list for women seeking a transitional living program in Arkansas. We receive emails, letters, and calls from women seeking help and often do not have the bed space available. Thus, it is important to have a list of programs/resources to connect those seeking help with a program to meet their needs. You can check out our updated referral list here. Please share this link with others who may be looking for an opportunity to change their life!

Sophia Dugwyler, Resident Support Specialist

Thank You!

We received several generous donations this month to support our residents. A big thank you to Central United Methodist Church, Alpha Chi Omega at the University of Arkansas, Mattress Firm, Brian and Jovie Swain, and Frances Clardy for helping us rebuild the lives of women who have experienced trauma, addiction, and incarceration. Looking for an easy way to give back?

Check out our Amazon Wish List for our current list of needs.