University High School, Austin’s first recovery high school, is officially open for business. Twelve students have filled out applications to be considered for the inaugural class.

Hands huddle nails n bracelets smallAlthough created in collaboration with partners at The University of Texas at Austin among others, and located adjacent to the UT campus, the school is independent of the university. The school’s mission is to enable each student to fulfill his or her personal and academic potential within a supportive and sober recovery environment

Dr. Lori Holleran Steiker, associate professor at the School of Social Work, is one of the co-founders of University High School and its current board president.

She shared her excitement about the school’s grand opening under Executive Director Becky Ahlgrim.

“I get very moved by the fact that we can provide an educational setting in an incredibly rich environment to help these students hold their head high and say proudly, I am a person in recovery,” Holleran Steiker said. 

“Becky Ahlgrim is the right person to direct this effort. She brings her experience from the Archway Academy in Houston, is a graduate of UT Austin who feels at home on campus, and is excited about the interdisciplinary collaborations. Perhaps most importantly, she is warm and accessible. Her love for young people and families in recovery is palpable,” Holleran Steiker added. 

“Research shows that up to 90% of students with substance use problems who return to their former high schools after treatment quickly begin using drugs or alcohol again,” Ahlgrim said. “Recovery high schools are at the forefront of efforts to positively impact young people affected by substance use and strengthen the adolescent recovery community. I am excited by the important work ahead.”

For more information about University High School, go to their website, email, or call 281-380-2443.