Our Graduates, Graduate!

Recently, in a collaborative effort between Phoenix Rescue Mission and the Governor’s office of Youth, Faith, and Family’s Arizona Angel Initiative (AAI) program, 15 of our graduates have become credentialed as Peer Support Specialists!

A Peer Support Specialist uses his or her lived experience to offer strength, insight and hope to others. Essentially, they are living proof that recovery is possible. But more than that, as trained specialists, they are able to journey with others on their own path to recovery.

“Having peer support credentials means that the struggles that held me back my entire life now enable me to help other people,” says Kasandra, who graduated from our recovery program in July of this year. “It’s exactly what I need to really make a difference.”

Peer Support credentials are highly prized in the recovery world. They open doors to employment in primary care offices, medical centers, emergency rooms, clinics, inpatient and outpatient facilities, recovery centers, faith-based organizations and criminal justice settings, just to name a few. As such, they are not easy to obtain. Each graduate is required to attend five eight-hour classes to prepare for the 100-question competency exam at the end of the course.
We’re proud to say that EVERY ONE of our graduates passed this grueling exam with flying colors!

“The anticipation was heart wrenching!” says Billy. “They called us one by one and when I heard my score I jumped in the air, clicked my heels and yelled. ’98 percent!? Woo-HOOO!’”

We would like to thank CHEEERS, a non-profit focused on individuals and families affected by behavioral health conditions, and their members, Lisa Zaran and Carlie Shillet, for providing excellent Peer Support training that made earning these credentials possible for our graduates.

Carlie shares, “It was a wonderful experience and I have learned so much about what Phoenix Rescue Mission does for the community. It truly was a pleasure to train the 15 men and women. I would love to come back and train more! These men and women exude the mission statement and the values that Phoenix Rescue Mission was built on.”