almostEliasar “Leo” Soria serves Freedom Through Education as an Alcohol and Other Drugs counselor/case-manager. For the 12 men residing at Munyer House he conducts individual screening and assessments, facilitating individual one on ones and leading the men in through group sessions.
He develops custom treatment plans and records progress notes, and other things to ensure clients follow their parole and treatment plans. This can lead to him modifying treatment activities and approaches for the men to comply with changes in their status.
Leo completed Foundations, Practices, Competence studies in 2010 at the California Association of Addiction Resources (CAARR). He also attended Braining Institute where he received his Registered Addiction Specialist (RAS) credential in 2012.
In his own words on why he took this career path:
I’m sharing a short story to give honor and glory to my Savior, Jesus Christ.
I’m recovering from childhood verbal and physical abuse which led me to be a long-time drug and alcohol abuser. My way of dealing with anger issues was using violence and staying high to numb my shame that I carried from my past. I got tired of going in and out of jail and finally lost my self-control to my addiction because I put it first, before my wife and two kids, almost sending me to prison for “great bodily harm to an individual”. As a result, my wife, understandably, wanted a divorce. By then I had a 12-year heroin and cocaine addiction that was taking my life.
My turning point was in March 1993 when I asked Jesus to help me out of my addiction and He did. The very next day I was delivered completely - no withdrawals whatsoever, which showed me Jesus was real and is why I’m a Christian today.
Today I am grateful to be working at Freedom Through Education with CDCR clients coming out of prison. Many struggle with addiction, others with shame and guilt from their past, and some clients grew up in dysfunctional homes that led to a lifetime of crime. I am privileged to see the men learn social skills, deal with self-control, reconnect with family and learn responsibilities (and more). I am blessed to fit in with this team at FTE so well.