Recovery Coach Supervisor, Center for Human Development; Age 35; Education: Springfield College; BS, Fitchburg State University
“I am truly blessed to be here today,” Lipka says. “Without the love and support of my family, none of this would be possible. They have allowed me to follow my own path in life, and I will forever be grateful for that. I have had my ups and downs, sometimes more downs than ups, but I would not change anything in my past. I have experienced the good sides of life and also have experienced the truly tragic sides of life. Change and accomplishment is truly possible. Keep on striving to be better!”
What did you want to be when you grew up? An Air Force fighter pilot.
How do you define success? I can rest my head at night and value my life knowing that I did my best to help improve at least one other person’s life in any way possible.
What three words best describe you? Kind, honest, helpful.
What do you like most about Western Massachusetts? I love the outdoors — hiking, fishing, skiing, and canoeing.
Who has been your best mentor, and why? My father. He taught me what working hard truly means. He taught me to be accountable, and that if I was going to start something, then I should do the best I can and to always follow through. He taught me what it means to be a father so that I can try to fill his shoes with my own daughter.
What are you passionate about? My fiancé, Ashley, our beautiful daughter, Josephine, and trying to provide a life for them that they deserve.
What goals have you set for yourself? Finish my master’s degree at Springfield College and hopefully start my juris doctorate.
Whom do you look up to, and why? My fiancé. She is the most wonderful mother and partner a guy could ever ask for. She supports us and encourages us to follow our dreams every day. Without her by my side, none of this would ever be possible.
What person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why? My grandfather. He was one of my best friends, and before his death, he got to see me begin to change my life around, but I would love to sit with him and tell him all about the wonderful things in my life now — my daughter, my fiancé, and how good life has gotten for me. I would love for him to see me truly happy again.
Photography by Leah Martin Photography