Peers Empower Peers Conference

We are back in person for this years Peers Empower Peers annual
conference! As devoted peers we invest our hearts, and energy into caring for,
advocating for, empowering, and supporting others. That is no small task. As caring
professionals it is absolutely essential that our own needs are routinely cared for
too. Through regular self-care and tending to our own wholistic wellness we can
find greater sustainability and effectiveness in our roles as peers. Join us, in
person, for this this years peer wholistic wellness centered conference, “PEER &
SIMPLE: It Starts With a Balanced YOU!”

Register Now!
2 Days (Saturday-Sunday)
9+ Workshops
Join Us Via Zoom for our
2021 Virtual Conference
—  2023
Peers Empower Peers 2023 Conference

About The Peers Empower Peers Conference

In 2018, A group of Eastern Washington Peers recognized the need for opportunities to grow, network and celebrate recovery for peers in Eastern and Central Washington and began a discussion. This resulted in the first annual Peers Empower Peers (PEP) conference on July 13, 2019! In response to the Covid 19 Pandemic, the PEP Conference Committee made the decision to go virtual for the 2nd annual conference. The conference was a tremendous success in bringing folks together to share their passion for recovery and to build lasting connections.In an effort to build on and sustain those connections, we are excited to announce that we will be hosting a 5th annual conference this year on June 17th and will be in person to bring our peer community together.

Speakers coming soon

Last Years Keynote Speaker

A native to the Pacific Northwest, Amanda is currently in the role of the Peer Support ProgramAdministrator with the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery. Serving Washington as acertified peer from 2011-2018, Amanda began her journey in direct service in the PORCHProgram (Permanent Options for Recovery Centered Housing) as a Recovery Coach as well asan Outreach Specialist for the PATH (Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness)program. Harnessing both her professional and personal experience in housing she continuedon her journey through DBHR as a Supportive Housing Program Manager and trainer servingEastern, Washington until January 2022. A firm believer in choice, respect and strength-basedlanguage as a key to recovery; Amanda advocates for the person first model as a brave place tobegin the journey to recovery and empowerment as a key piece to ending stigma. Amanda will be speaking about: The audacity of recovery: We rise by lifting others.

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Amanda Major Polley, CPC
Annette Jones, Keynote Speaker

This Years Keynote Speaker

Annette Jones is co-founder of Jones Community Solutions, a for-profit, Peer run, social services enterprise and co-developer of Community Life, a virtual community drop-in center focused on mental health recovery & wellness. She has been certified as a Peer Counselor since 2015 and has found her niche working as a Change Agent with services and organizations in the community that are already doing great work. Annette works to eliminate stigma and discrimination by creating all-inclusive community events, providing educational workshops, seminars and trainings to the community at large, and by partnering with other organizations to provide new community solutions to old social challenges. She has been a trainer for the Washington State Certified Peer Training in six modules, including Trauma-Informed, Ethics and Boundaries, Cross-Cultural Partnership, Supporting Goal Setting, Facilitating Groups for Recovery, and Supporting Self-advocacy, and participated in the collaboration to write the Peer Bridge Training Curriculum for Recovery Coaches. She is certified as a Peer Group Facilitator, Recovery Coach, Mental Health First Aid, DBT Skills Group, Recovery Advocacy, Trauma-Informed, and the Teen Program training for Strong African American Families. Annette attended four years at the University of California, Berkeley, and enjoys being a lifelong learner.

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We Stand Together As Peers!

Calling all presenters!

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Nora Cornelius, Opening Speaker

Opening Speaker

Nora is a Spokane Tribal Member who has been in the counseling field for 23years working primarily with Native American youth and families. Nora has worked with women in addiction, high risk pregnancies and domestic violence issues as a PCAP supervisor and mental health counselor. She practices holistic healing and is trained in heart centered hypnotherapy, incorporating many traditional ways of healing to address issues related to generational and complex trauma.

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Spotlight On Local Leader

Jessica Goulart’s journey as a peer leader began when she first went through the state’s peer training to receive her certification. However, her passion and desire to work with others really began with a desire to teach, to share her gift of art with the world (both hands on and written) and to bring her teaching experience to a whole new level as it has been such a rewarding, centering, and calming coping skill that she has carried through a lifetime of many different types of challenges, as well as positive experiences. When Jessica left the Pottery studio to seek education, she had no idea whether she would be likely to pick up clay again.  However, recently during Covid she decided to bring home a box of clay, and was pleased to learn that it was as if she had never put it down. Jessica has brought many people the gift of art through her recent experience as a Peer, and thinks of herself as a kind of community connector, and arts advocate, volunteering in multiple different atmospheres, leading all types of craft and writing groups whenever the opportunity arises. Jessica is currently involved with Peer Spokane as a Peer Coach and has also been connecting with Spark Central in a number of different ways, and enjoys sharing the many available programs at both places with individuals in the community. Jessica is a persistent and tenacious leader who pursues her goals with unwavering commitment and compassion for all that she meets. Jessica is a writer, an artist, a leader, a community connector, and a really good friend to have.  

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Jessica Goulart, Spotlight On Local Leader
Allyssa J Jomei, Certified Peer Counselor, Certified Interfaith/Inter-Spiritual Director, Founder of Everyday Sacred Mystery℠


Allyssa is a passionate peer educator, advocate, and mentor.  Over the years she has served as a support group facilitator and peer leader with local mental health nonprofits.  She has helped in organizing and leading various mental health offerings to educate and support the community-at-large, including community forums, trainings, and workshops.  Allyssa is a certified Reiki Master-Teacher, has taken lay-ordination vows in a Zen Buddhist community, is a certified Interfaith/Inter-Spiritual Director, and founded an online community (Everyday Sacred Mystery℠) offering classes, meditations, and community gatherings. Informed by her own journey, Allyssa has integrated numerous effective avenues and methods to assist peers’ holistic healing, personal development, and overall wellbeing.  Allyssa’s deepest passion is connecting with and empowering others to transform their stories of darkness into powerful lessons of hope, inspiration, courage, resiliency, and growth.  She believes that mental health peers are a force to be reckoned with.  “When we join hands to support, encourage, and shine light on each others paths, we are all better able to fully embrace our challenging, sometimes messy, yet beautiful life journeys.  There are no limits to what we can accomplish, together.”

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Amazing people

Last Years Speakers

Amanda Major Polley, CPC

A native to the Pacific North West, Amanda is the Supportive Housing Program Manager and Trainer with the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery since 2018. Serving Eastern Washington as a certified peer in 2011.

Ashley Albert

Ashley Albert is from Seattle, Wa. A certified peer counselor in Wa state. She is a formerly incarcerated woman, a youth who aged out of foster care at eighteen years old, a parent affected by the family regulation system who shares her experiences to help others achieve freedom. Manifesting as an activist and advocate surrounding policy and systemic change at the local, state, and national level through her lived experience. She is experienced in Trauma and Crisis Prevention, has coauthored two abstracts for the Colombia Journal of Race and Law; Shattered Bonds Symposium "Dorothy Roberts." She recently completed a 8 month Leadership Academy cohort for survivors- Heal 2 Action with collective Justice, under the restorative justice framework. She spends her time educating and advocating on behalf of birth parents whom are former foster youth and now parents navigating the Family Regulation System.


I am 1 of 11 children raised in a combined family. I have over 20 nieces and nephews and I am the best auntie-mommy! I have a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management and am currently in my Master’s program for Mental Health Counseling with Capella University. I am the owner of Anchored Consulting & Coaching, LLC, and have worked as a Peer Specialist for almost a year.I have successfully managed and consulted for businesses for the past 20 years. I love to hire, train, and build solid teams. I believe and live by the quote from John C. Maxwell that says, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” I live by the values of courage, connection, authenticity, resilience, and self-compassion. Together, we can heal, make an impact, and create a better world.

Carolyn M Cox & Peers

SPARK is a group of students/youth/young adults who have participated in and graduated from The SPARK Program (Students Providing And Receiving Knowledge). SPARK supports a career pathway to becoming a Certified Peer Counselor in Washington State. The program includes a course to learn who you are and what you want to do with your life.

Cliff Hansen

Cliff Hansen is a certified youth peer support specialist at Frontier Behavioral Health where he uses his experience with depression, anxiety, ADHD, and substance abuse to help empower others. He has a master’s in Publishing from Portland State University and has spent much of his life living and working in developing countries around the world.

Eric Burns

Eric is the Program Manager for the Veteran Peer Services Program with the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs. He has worked within Peer-based models of support since 2019, serving as the Vet Corps Member at Pacific Lutheran University from 2019-2021, then serving as the Lead Suicide Prevention Peer Specialist with the WDVA from 2020-2021. Eric comes from a military background, having served in the U.S. Army as a combat medic from 2006-2014 with one tour to Afghanistan. Since retiring from the military he has worked to bridge the gap between civilian and military cultures, working closely with other organizations to develop best practices in creating a Veteran-ready & inclusive environment.

Evelyn Clark

Evelyn Clark is a Mexican-Native American woman whois passionate about Racial Equity, Leadershipdevelopment and peer support. She has nearly 15years of experience serving young people and theirfamilies who were system involved.

James Tillett

James Tillett was born and raised in Spokane, WA. He is a Recovery Coach,Certified Peer Counselor, Group Facilitator, and he has an Associate’s Degree inPsychology through the University of Phoenix.

Jason Clark and Khalia Williams-O’Neal

Jason Clark is a Father, mentor and the Director of Northwest Credible Messenger (NWCM), a Capacity Building organization developed to empower the next generation of Black and Brown leadership. From being a resident of WA DOC to being a project manager for the largest trial court system in the state, Jason utilizes his personal and professional experience to develop relationships that produce results and empower others through NWCM's statewide consortium to maximizing collective personal and community impact, building visibility of NWCM's statewide efforts.

Jim Wikel

Jim Wikel is a Citizen of The Seneca-Cayuga Nation of Oklahoma, mixed blood, German/Scotch-Irish on my Father's Side In long term recovery from addiction and mental health challenges I've been a peer supporter since 2015 Currently live in Salem OR Currently working for The Confederated Tribes of The Grand Ronde Great Circle Recovery Opioid Treatment Center.

John Bodkins

John is the Co-Director of the nonprofit, Dads Move and holds several certifications as a trainer in Mental Health. He is always seeking to break new ground and share his knowledge of education advocacy.

Kim Pham

Kim Pham is the Program Manager for the WA State Department of Veterans Affairs’ (WDVA) Veterans Conservation Corps (VCC). She studied nuclear engineering at U.C. Berkeley and served in the U.S. Navy as a nuclear surface warfare officer. After her service, she found her new mission while participating in an internship with the VCC in 2016 and accepted a position with the WDVA to develop and grow the VCC program after her internship. Her mission is to serve those who served by providing veterans with self-directed connections to the lands, waters, and communities in WA State through meaningful work in conserving and restoring natural ecosystems with the VCC’s environmental conservation and agricultural community partners. When she’s not working and being distracted by her curiosity of too many things to learn in a lifetime, she is most likely to be found outside trail running, hiking, biking, or camping.

Shaun Worthy

Shaun is a full custody father, entrepreneur, author, and thought leader. The CEO/Owner of IAMWORTHY & Associates LLC is a purpose-pushing youth development professional.

Siproena Johnson

My name is Siproena Johnson and I found origami to be a natural resource for my mental and physical health after being diagnosed with Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis in my early childhood.

Tommie Kessler

Tommie Kessler is a nature gal through and through. She loves backpacking and being by the water. Her obsession is collecting nature pieces and making art out of it. Tommie also enjoys meditation and yoga. She has been working as a Peer Supporter for almost 3 years and she is healthier because of it.

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Dynamic speakers


Hours of speakers and workshops


Day of peer insights


Conference to rule them all

// 2023
Join Us at The Hive Spokane, WA
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2022 Workshops

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