By Marcus Stevenson, Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator and founder of Holy City Well Being

Why WRAP? The real question is: why not WRAP?

WRAP came to me when I seemingly had it all together in life. Yet I didn’t have healing tools.

I was on the path of helping others because that’s what I love and was born to do. I founded a nonprofit organization to help at-risk youth and developed sports management skills to help individuals with image enhancement so they would stay connected to the community—“community” meaning other young adults.

My plan was to have a powerful influence on young adults by combining sports and education. As a substitute teacher in middle school, my goal was to help individuals dream, but I soon discovered some students were lacking hope, vision, and the steps to move forward with their goals. It was then I found out there were deeper issues in their homes.

I had to be real with myself, given my personal childhood experience with trauma. You can function with trauma—you can smile and you can seemingly be successful, but it doesn’t go away until it’s dealt with.

As a volunteer teacher in the Forsyth County, North Carolina correctional facility, I was part of an organization that was subcontracted with another company to fulfill a master mentor role. We matched mentors with mentees within the juvenile justice department. Again, I was moving forward with my passion and purpose, but something was still missing—something that I personally had not addressed.

I was helping others but had not helped myself. Why? Because I didn’t have the tools. As I began to improve my skill set of helping others, I became a Certified Peer Support Specialist (CPSS) to provide better services and address some of my own mental health issues. However, I still needed more tools that allowed me to work on myself; I wasn’t well.

As I endeavored in the CPSS training, I learned I had been grieving for more than 12 years, and my healing process was just beginning. Part of the curriculum that stood out to me was the WRAP training.

Why WRAP? The WRAP training had everything I needed to get well, stay well, and develop my own wellness toolbox. After taking WRAP, I regained my hope. I had always advocated for others, but now I had learned how to advocate for myself. I was able to be open and willing to educate myself about myself, knowing that I am the expert on me.

I also was able to educate my supporters on how to support me, and my personal responsibility level changed for the better as I learned my bill of rights. I finally had the tools to get well and stay well.

Why WRAP? WRAP is my healing. WRAP was my recovery I could see, feel, and taste. It was making such a difference in my life that my wife and kids then attended WRAP training.

When things break down, my WRAP holds my life together. The five key concepts of WRAP changed my life and are now what I live by.

Now I’m a founder of a nonprofit organization in Charleston, South Carolina, called Holy City Well Being—“holy city” being one of the names of Charleston. Here we provide WRAP training to South Carolina and beyond. I am an Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator, and I love it.

Is every day perfect for me? Absolutely not. But now I have the tools in place to make a difference in my well-being and state of life. This is why WRAP!