TSTC student helps people at hometown treatment facility

(ABILENE, Texas) – Abilene’s Ashli Arispe wants to give people a second chance.

That is why she attended Texas State Technical College’s Chemical Dependency Counseling program in Abilene. She is on track to graduate later this month with a certificate of completion from TSTC.

“I think everyone deserves a second chance,” she said. “My nature has always been to help people. I volunteered in high school and have always liked helping others.”

Arispe works for ABODE Treatment in Abilene. She said the facility’s acronym, short for Adult Basic Opportunity Development and Environment, depicts how the treatment center works to help people.

Arispe is pleased to be working in her hometown for a facility that also has outpatient offices in Dallas-Fort Worth.

“I know the chemical dependency counseling options are limited here. I knew when I registered for the program there would be a good chance I would have to leave,” she said. “But this is the best of both worlds — I can help others and be in my hometown.”

Arispe, a graduate of Abilene High School, who also holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, said the company provides “endless opportunities.”

“I hope to stay with the company for a long time and work my way up. I want to help more people, and help them plant their seeds and watch them sprout,” she said.

Arispe is already utilizing what she has learned in class.

“The hands-on approach was great. Everything that I learned in class, I am using now and will use throughout my career,” she said.

Arispe said her instructors taught practical things students can use on a daily basis.

“The way things were presented in class, it was presented in a way that you would know how to use it in the field,” she said.

Arispe was drawn to TSTC because of the relationships with counselors in the region.

“The partnerships are great. Companies are looking for people with work experience,” she said.

Arispe’s next goal is to complete her required 4,000 hours of counseling to become state certified to practice.

The Chemical Dependency Counseling program is offered at the Abilene, Breckenridge and Brownwood campuses. An Associate of Applied Science degree allows students to become a practicing licensed chemical dependency counselor intern.

Students who have a degree in the human services field, like Arispe, can take the certification program to secure a licensed chemical dependency counselor intern credential.

Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information, go to https://tstc.edu/admissions.