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Personal banker overcomes personal demons

Personal banker overcomes personal demons

DENVER, Colo. – Denver personal banker Mark Petersen is typically an easy-going guy, who as a restaurant manager for much of his career, was well-liked by his employees.

Behind his affable personality and restaurant successes, however, Mark was desperately hiding his grief. He lost his mom in 1998 from several health complications, and lost his sister a few years later to cancer. He withdrew and became obsessed with his work – putting in 80 to 85 hours a week. The sorrow inside began to build, until he stopped drinking for social reasons, and turned to alcohol to cope with his overwhelming emotional pain.

“I was using alcohol to deal with my grief, even as I was watching my marriage fall apart,” Mark said. “Plus, I was still working in the restaurant business, which is not the most conducive to staying sober.”

Finally, after his marriage ended and friends tried unsuccessfully to intervene, Mark said he reached such a low point a couple of years ago that, “I cried out to God, ‘I need a sign! Show me what to do.’ I knew I was the only one who could change my situation.”

It was at that point that he took back control of his life. He moved from Colorado Springs to Denver and joined Step 13, a residential recovery program in downtown Denver that helps men overcome addiction and become productive citizens again.

It was through Step 13 that Mark learned about the BankWork$ program, which launched in Denver in 2016 through a partnership with Goodwill Industries of Denver and with support from companies including U.S. Bank.

Click here to read how the BankWork$ program changed Mark's life.