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Press Release

Sober College
Woodland Hills, CA

Sober College Women Tackle Self Defense

Brian Brekke, LAC
Director of Operations

August 2006

Overlooking the West Valley of Los Angeles, seven women, working towards sobriety and life skills at Sober College, challenged themselves physically, mentally, but most importantly, emotionally in a unique program offered in conjunction with Michael Shervan, a 4th degree black belt, and The Valley Trauma Center.

“This experience was even more powerful than we could have imagined” stated Kim Farber, Coordinator of the Sober College Women’s Program. “Newly sober women gain a lot of momentum from taking action. With their histories, most of these women, feel no sense of confidence or personal power. Young adult women in early recovery have a skewed self- perspective. We concentrate on changing them from the outside in by moving them into action."

Michael Shervan, a 4th degree black belt who has his own Karate studio in Woodland Hills, agrees, “I’m pumped! These girls were fearless and they excelled at the physical part. This is one of the most tenacious group of women I have worked with, but I know their intensity on the physical side gives evidence of deeper issues.” “Shervan” as the girls call him, speaks from experience. For eight years, he has owned and operated the Little Dragons Karate Studio, which has a women’s self-defense component.

Farber further explains the concept, “While Shervan teaches the girls physical self-defense and filters in some of the mental and emotional, a counselor from the Valley Trauma Center comes to speak with the girls once every four classes on the topic of emotional and mental self-defense. Through addressing physical, mental, and emotional self- defense for women in sobriety, this program is an exercise for both the mind and body of the Sober Woman."

For one participant, Jennifer, an eighteen year old cocaine addict from the East Coast, this was a first. “Part of my drug use is never feeling like I have any strength or power. I always isolated to drugs because I never felt good about myself. When I tell my parents what we did today, I don’t think they’ll believe me. I barely believe it myself.”

“We are excited to be offering this to young women in recovery”, explains Farber. The women’s program at Sober College is a gender specific component that includes surfing, yoga, advanced writing classes, and much more. “We want to instill a solid foundation of the 12 steps and sobriety in our women while providing a forum for their goals and aspirations to manifest. From enrolling in voice lessons to finding an internship at a veterinarian’s office, we will stop at nothing to make our women’s dream come true.”

About Sober College:
Sober College, headquartered in Southern California, is a small private institution providing alcohol and drug treatment environments for young adults age 17 to 29. The Sober College curriculum builds core competencies in life skills, employment, academics, emotional well-being and fitness. For further information visit our website at www.sobercollege.com or call 800-465-0142.

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