SPC Celebrates Recovery Awareness Month and Sustainable Recovery Through Employment



SPC Celebrates Recovery Awareness Month and Sustainable Recovery Through Employment

Network with representatives, experts in mental and behavioral health education, services



What: Recovery Awareness Expo and Job Fair


St. Petersburg College and the Pinellas Recovery Round Table will host an opportunity to connect with more than 30 recruiters and employers in the behavioral health care fields. College representatives also will highlight SPC’s human services and applied mental health programs.


The free event is open to community members as well as SPC students and employees. There will be activities such as on-site yoga and meditation sessions, as well as prizes, music and food.


During the expo, the Pinellas Recovery Round Table will present the college with a check to establish the new Recovery Ready Scholarship. "Recognizing recovery as a process that requires a continuum of care beyond the singular treatment episode is essential,” said Mattie Velasco, who established the group. “The recovery community represents a widely untapped labor force. By developing their skills in a supportive environment, such as SPC, it not only facilitates their healing journey but also allows our community to thrive. We want to invest in and celebrate those with unique lived experiences to reach their full potential by offering accessible and comprehensive opportunities to grow."


Other event sponsors include WestCare, Windmoor Healthcare of Clearwater, River Oaks Treatment Center, Operation PAR, Vibe Recovery, and CareerSource Pinellas.


When:                 Sept. 29, 2023

11 a.m. - 3 p.m.


Where:               SPC St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, 6605 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg


Interview and Photo Opportunities: The proclamation starts at 11:30 a.m. followed by the check presentation and speakers will be available for interviews.

  • Check presentation: Dr. Latresha Bighem-Moore, Human Services Program Director at SPC, and SPC alumna Mattie Velasco with Open Forum Strategy & Consulting will present a $2,000 check to Dr. Joseph Smiley, SPC’s Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Humans Services, for the Recovery Ready Scholarship.


  • Speakers on sustainable recovery through education and employment:
    • St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch, will give a proclamation observing September as Recovery Awareness Month
    • Sen. Darryl Rouson
    • St. Petersburg Chief of Police Anthony Holloway
    • St. Petersburg Councilwoman Deborah Figgs-Sanders
    • Dr. Latresha Bighem-Moore


Background on Recovery Ready Scholarship: Created by the Pinellas Recovery Round Table through the SPC Foundation, this scholarship helps students in recovery from substance use or mental health disorders. It provides $500 per student for classes at SPC — related to human services, addiction studies, and health care administration — so they can become “recovery ready” and join the workforce. To donate, visit spcollege.edu/foundation/give-now and list that your gift is designated for the Recovery Ready Scholarship.


Background on Recovery Round Table: This group meets monthly to discuss community needs, helps bridge gaps in services, provides education, and creates opportunities for cross-sector collaboration that strengthens the recovery infrastructure of Pinellas County.


Background on new SPC programs: SPC’s Bachelor of Science in Human Services launched this fall. It includes an embedded Applied Mental Health Advanced Technical Certificate that will offer critical skill sets to professionals, particularly in the law enforcement field, who face mental health issues.