About Us

There’s no question that staying sober is hard work. In order to be successful, many of our participants find that they need to make significant changes to support their new lifestyle — a new job, new friends, new social interests and a different living arrangement, to name a few. Sober Corps has assembled a team of volunteer mentors to help individuals in their journeys to sobriety as they navigate the emotions and logistics that come with starting over. The mentor relationship is not intended to replace a sponsor in a 12-step program, but partner with participants to provide additional support.

Founded in 2007, Sober Corps is an operating arm of American Academy Initiative — an organization committed to dramatically reducing American prison incarcerations through the education, meaningful employment, holistic living and spiritual development of at-risk, chemically dependent young people. Sober Corps supports the overarching mission of American Academy Initiative by providing a dynamic way to strengthen the recovery process during a person’s critical first year of sobriety.

Located in downtown Minneapolis, it has always been Sober Corps’ belief that accessibility is a key element to providing a successful mentoring program. Through a partnership with Gethsemane Episcopal Church, Sober Corps is able to be centrally located in the community. At the same time, Gethsemane is able to fulfill its mission to bring empowerment to “the least of those brethren.”

“I came to Sober Corps looking for a tool to help me in my sobriety. Instead I found a friend and companion to help me through life’s ups and downs in a sober manner. I discovered my true self. Thank you, Sober Corps.” — Mike


Sober Corps is a community dedicated to helping people achieve their first year of freedom from chemical addiction through life-skills mentorship, training and networking.


Sober Corps’ vision is to begin a movement to reduce the cost of substance abuse and incarceration throughout the United States while providing an opportunity to strengthen long-term recovery success that is affordable for everyone.

Board of Directors

Alan Hasan Wittmer, Board Chair

Alan is an actor, writer, singer, community organizer and activist. Born in Ankara Turkey to a Turkish father and American mother, he moved to the United States at the age of seven. Alan has an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Radio and Television Broadcasting.  Based on his diverse background he has merged his Middle Eastern, American and Native American roots to become a “compassionate rebel”. Combining his love for the arts he has worked as on air talent in radio and television as well as being a published poet, singer, and cinematic actor.  He currently serves as Vice President of Hawk Hawk and Peacock, an independent “passion project” production company in Eden Prairie Minnesota, producing short films, videos and plays. He has served on numerous action groups and committees in his goal to preserve natural lands, prevent substance abuse and for renewable resources. He currently is involved with Minneapolis based Friends of Coldwater and T.R.E.E. He has a ten year old son.  Alan is also a graduate of Sober Corps’ mentor program and has served on the board since 2012.

Mark McGraw

Mark has worked hands on in the recovery community in the Twin Cities for years in the role of a chemical dependency technician.  He has a passion for giving back to the recovery community and being of service to the newly recovered.  Mark’s personal journey in recovery has made him a sought after speaker to the medical professional community.

James Lodden

Jim has served on numerous nonprofit boards and committees.  He has been an advocate in the recovery community for over thirty years.   His extensive knowledge and compassion allow Jim to offer help and hope to those who are seeking sobriety.

David G. Haakana, Treasurer

David is a manufacturing engineer professional, he has been a leader in implementing change in production for stability in a world market. David’s first-most passion has been people. David has helped and supported others in everyday life’s challenges for more than 20 years. Over the years David has worked, volunteered  and supported organizations that have a great and lasting impact in our communities. David’s visions and work ethic’s have had a proven impact in enhancing quality of  life in everyday living. One a David’s visions for success, is learning to meet people where there at, help guide them in developing a vision for where and what they want to be and lead and support them in implementing the steps necessary to achieve their goals.