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College Student Takes on Mind Muscle Project
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Thursday, July 14, 2022
 

Matt Letourneau, a Sun Valley native and junior at St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire was recently awarded the Kiril and Kate Sokoloff Grant for Compassion and Kindness.

Rather than spend the award on new ski boots or an iPhone for himself, he decided to use the $2,500 to purchase laptops, Kindle readers, Kindle subscriptions, bookshelves and many good old-fashioned books for a project he has titled the Mind Muscle Library project.

 Letourneau’s project is to establish the Mind Muscle Library at Men’s Second Chance Living’s sober house this summer. The goals of this proposal are to:

  • Create a physical and virtual space that will enable the residents to access countless books and publications whose genres will be determined by the residents
  • Work with the Hailey Public Library to sign the residents up for the many services available to the community
  • Purchase of titles will be done locally whenever possible
  • Participate in weekly Book Club meetings
  • Create a short film documenting the building of Mind Muscle Library and highlighting the work of MSCL House.

The son of a father who lost his battle with substance abuse when he was eight years old, Letourneau was drawn to learn what is effective for those struggling with addiction, as well as what isn’t and what second chances are all about.

He knew Sonya Wilander, the executive director of Men’s Second Chance Living, through family friends. And he became very much interested in the work she and others are doing to promote recovery from substance abuse.

While home on Spring Break, he began to volunteer at MSCL House, writing grants for the facility. And his interaction with the residents of MSCL “Muscle” House soon drew him in.

The men welcomed him, shared their stories, and quickly made Matt feel a part of things. He admired the men’s hard work, their self-awareness, and he began to understand— just a little— the immense challenges that the men faced in moving from substance reliance to finding the way forward.

 

The Mind Muscle Library project is in line with MSCL House’s Wellness program to cultivate self-awareness and self-care skills.  Reading is an act of self-care. By taking personal time off to read, residents are taking deliberate action towards bettering their mind, body, and soul.

 

“I feel so honored to get to know the residents at MSCL House and to get to work on this project with them,” Matt said. “I am really grateful to Sonya for giving me the opportunity to spend my summer with Men’s Second Chance Living. I can’t wait to see what we create.”

 

Since its inception, MSCL House has served more than 45 men in early recovery from substance use disorder. The organization has had a waiting list for the past two years and is in the midst of a capital campaign to purchase a second home that would provide additional space for men in recovery.

The son of a father who lost his battle with substance abuse when he was eight years old, Letourneau was drawn to learn what is effective for those struggling with addiction, as well as what isn’t and what second chances are all about.

He knew Sonya Wilander, the executive director of Men’s Second Chance Living, through family friends. And he became very much interested in the work she and others are doing to promote recovery from substance abuse.

While home on Spring Break, he began to volunteer at MSCL House, writing grants for the facility. And his interaction with the residents of MSCL “Muscle” House soon drew him in.

The men welcomed him, shared their stories, and quickly made Matt feel a part of things. He admired the men’s hard work, their self-awareness, and he began to understand— just a little— the immense challenges that the men faced in moving from substance reliance to finding the way forward.

 

The Mind Muscle Library project is in line with MSCL House’s Wellness program to cultivate self-awareness and self-care skills.  Reading is an act of self-care. By taking personal time off to read, residents are taking deliberate action towards bettering their

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