Project Hope advisor looks to make healthy living a priority

Wilson Hartsock, Channels Staff

Student Program Advisor for Project hope, Ben Murphy, has a vision to train students and volunteers for a peer education program with a curriculum that involves multiple substance abuse topics as well as healthy living.

Murphy approached the Associated Student Senate to discuss personal hopes and plans for the Alcohol Substance Abuse Program on Friday, Feb. 21.

“We’re all going to be in the clubroom to practice and learn together,” said Murphy. “I think it will be a lot of fun.”

Murphy received his credentials as an addiction and substance abuse counselor in 2008 and was eventually hired at City College’s Health Center.

He wasn’t abused as a child nor did he grow up in a dysfunctional family. Nonetheless, he ended up dropping out of college at age 20 due to substance abuse and now dedicates his career to promote healthy living habits and being a nourishing member of the community.

The Student Senate was very engaging with Murphy’s presentation and is eager to see this plan prosper in the coming semesters.

“I was really impressed,” said Student Senate Trustee, Cristian Alvarez. “Anything we can do to promote positive lifestyles in terms of education or personal life in order to help students that maybe struggling is good.”

He plans on bringing greater substance abuse outreach to students both on campus and to students living in Isla Vista through collaboration with UCSB’s ASAP program.

Murphy has been going to lecture halls and addressing students about the dangers and myths of substance abuse and the support outreach the program offers.

His future presentations will also include advice on healthy sleep patterns as well as how to be more conscientious to those around you.

“The value of sleep hasn’t really been emphasized,” said murphy. “Our IQ goes down, our coordination goes down, and our creativity plummets when we’re sleep deprived.”

Murphy has had students from all different walks of life approach him to seek personal assistance or life-coaching, which has helped him reach his position at City College today.

The Associated Student Senate welcomes Murphy’s plans with open arms and is optimistic future results.