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Kodee Davis is Transforming Heartache into Hope

Kodee Davis has a calling to help people. 

Kodee Davis

She has started on a journey to begin a career with an associate's degree in psychology at Aims Community College. As part of the Aims2UNC program, Kodee will transfer to the University of Northern Colorado to pursue a bachelor’s degree.  

Finding Her Purpose 

“When I was a little girl, I always promised myself I would be there for other people,” she said. Although Kodee was firm in that mission statement, she didn’t have a career path in mind after high school and delayed higher education.  “If someone were thinking of coming to Aims, I would tell them just to do it,” Kodee said. “Quit thinking about it. Just do it because it's probably the best thing I ever did for myself.” 

Her husband, Randy, encouraged Kodee to go back to school in her late 20s. Initially, she planned to use her psychology studies and move into a general mental health counselor job. Kodee’s plans changed after tragedy struck. During her first semester at Aims, Randy passed away due to addiction.  

Randy had told Kodee that he was sober, but she saw signs that he was struggling and still abusing substances. “He was an alcoholic, and I knew that he was still drinking,” she said. “Randy just didn't want to open up about it, which is so hard.” Kodee believes there was nothing more she could've done. 

“In his passing, he gave me even more purpose that I didn't think that I was ever going to find.”  

This tragic situation changed the direction of what she wanted to do. “I now want to work with addicts,” Kodee said, “and be an addiction counselor.” Kodee believes that she has something to contribute to this area of mental health and treatment, “I want to be able to do this for somebody else given everything that I've gone through in life.”  She wants to be in a position to help somebody else. “It may not be the addicts themselves, but I could help some family members. I understand what it's like to be in their shoes of loving an addict. It's not the easiest thing somebody can do, but it's one of the most rewarding.” 

Kodee shares that her father had past problems surrounding addiction.” I think that plays a key into it, too.” Her dad has been clean for ten years. “That's beautiful. I couldn't have asked for anything better than that.” 

Aims as a Support System 

It was nearing spring finals week in 2023 and Kodee was dealing with this tragic loss; Aims faculty and staff were there for her in this time of need. Kodee reached out to her instructors about the situation and received “over-loving support.” All the teachers worked with her to complete her classes.  
One of her professors submitted a CARE report on Kodee’s behalf. Aims Coordinated Assistance and Resource Education (CARE) team was set up to report and address student needs through a reporting and case management system. Anyone on campus, faculty, staff and peers, can make an online CARE report about a student they are concerned about. Once the emergency is addressed, the CARE team can follow up with support, resources, and kindness. 

The CARE report connected her with the Dean of Students, Shannon McCasland. “The support from that woman was absolutely fantastic,” Kodee said. McCasland told her the college would ensure she had time to finish her classes. She also made sure that Kodee had everything she needed; this outpouring of support  

McCasland met Kodee and was immediately impressed. “My very first interaction with Kodee came in the immediate days following the death of her husband. Even then, I detected a determination under her cloud of grief. In those days, I had a front-row seat to her gritty spirit. In the days and weeks that followed, I watched her goals and aspirations solidify. Sadly, grief is part of the human experience. Kodee has journeyed through her grief in ways that have touched the hearts of all who have come to know her at the college. I am daily moved by her work ethic, her grit, and the joy that emanates from her.” 

Kodee DavisAnother Aims employee who worked with Kodee through this situation and made an impact is Assistant Dean of Students, Dana Jones. "I love that woman,” Kodee said. “She still checks in on me almost at least once a month, sometimes every other week, if she doesn't see me.”  
Jones is deeply impressed by Kodee and is part of her fan club. “Kodee will forever be one of those students that I will remember – through adversity, she showed such grace, determination and grit. She continues to work to find the good in situations and is constantly growing. She makes things happen for herself and she has taught me to dig deep and work towards what really matters in all aspects of my life.” 

Aims Recovery Steering Team 

Jones suggested that Kodee join the Recovery Steering Team at Aims. It is a group that facilitates recovery efforts and related programming on campus. Joining the Recovery Steering Team got Kodee more engaged in Student Life and extracurricular activities outside of class, even though she “wasn’t planning” to be involved.  
McCasland is proud of the effort and perspective Kodee brings to the group. “She is engaged in the work of the Recovery Steering Team, saying yes to every opportunity that comes her way. She has been one of the primary drivers behind the success of the college’s recovery communities,” McCasland said.  “Her unrelenting commitment to ensuring there is a space for those in recovery – or seeking recovery – serves as a motivator to our entire team.” 
Kodee leads the Tuesday Arty's Recovery Connection meeting. It's a group for students in recovery to meet others dealing with similar issues, develop friendships, and uplift each other. The group participates in an array of activities, including board games, activities and service projects.    
She invites all students to attend an Arty's Recovery Connection meeting. “It meets students wherever they're on their recovery road. It's just kind of a safe space that we want,” Kodee said.  

Kodee Davis laughing and putting together a puzzleKodee’s efforts on the Recovery Steering Team got her more involved on campus and provided her with experience and confidence to help further her career goals. Through this work, Kodee has attended networking events and professional conferences. Thus building meetings and developing relationships with potential employers.  

Her experiences working with people in recovery have reaffirmed Kodee’s belief that she is on the right track. “When I first started my path to want to be an addictions counselor, it was a place that I didn't feel like I belonged. I wasn't somebody who struggled with addiction.  I don't know what that feels like.”  By collaborating closely with individuals on their recovery and sobriety quests, Kodee has shifted her perspective. 

“I don't have to know that part of the journey to know that what I'm doing is right. This is where I'm supposed to be. This is what I'm supposed to be doing.”