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Andrew “AJ” was born in St. Paul, MN in March of 1989.  He grew up in Cottage Grove, with his father passing when he was 8 years old and no siblings, he was raised by a hardworking woman but leaned on his close friends to be his “family” in a sense.  AJ learned through them a lot initially and then grew from there.  9/11 had a profound impact on him and was the main driving factor in him joining the military (army national guard).  AJ joined right the army national guard right away at age 17, and is actually still in the guard, thus currently having spent half his life in the military.  He has deployed once to Iraq over this time and has worked on helicopters.  Outside of the military, AJ’s first career interest was criminal justice.  He achieved a 4-year degree in that in May of 2014 from Metropolitan State University.  However, through lived experience and seeing the effects of addiction in both childhood and through his work in corrections, AJ was drawn to the field of counseling and is currently set to finish his Masters in Co-Occurring Disorders Recovery Counseling in December of this year.  AJ has strong desires to help people, and also to better his community (whether that’s by helping or by protecting and serving).  AJ has a two-and-a-half-year-old son, and a Fiance.  AJ enjoys skiing and football the most, but really, he enjoys all sports whether that is through watching or playing.  He has traveled to 48 states and will be going to states 49 and 50 this coming November.  AJ is very happy to be part of the NUWAY Alliance family!