Tamra Oman is a Wisconsin Certified Peer Specialist and a trainer of the curriculum. In addition to her work at EXPO WI, Tamra trains and consults nationally on lived experience with a focus on carceral systems.
Paula Buege is a Wisconsin Certified Peer Specialist and Certified Parent Peer Specialist, and a facilitator of both curriculums too. In addition to providing direct support to individuals, children/youth and their families, Paula trains and consults nationally influencing systems change to align with lived experience.
Heleema Berg has overcome many struggles in her lifetime. Born and raised in St. Louis, Mo., Heleema came to Wisconsin as a teenager. Her lived experience includes poverty, teen pregnancy, domestic violence, substance, and sexual abuse in her younger years that spilled over into her adult life causing her to be confined 6.5 years of overall incarceration in both prisons and county jails. Heleema received her HSED while at John Burke Center in 2010. Released in 2010, Heleema faced many battles to turn her life around to become an upstanding citizen in her community.
Heleema began to unofficially meet with recently released and formerly incarcerated individuals, as well as individuals still incarcerated to offer support and insight on troubleshooting life after incarceration. Heleema began a Human Services program at Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay, WI. in hopes of gaining a more professional aspect to giving back. Heleema began to volunteer at local shelters, and pantries, and continue to attend trainings geared towards multiple community issues, such as domestic violence, sexual assault, trauma-informed care, child maltreatment, and substance abuse issues.
In 2020 in the mist of The Corona virus pandemic, Heleema was an intern at a peer-support ran community center where she facilitated and co-facilitated SMART Recovery, grief, forgiveness focused, self-improvement, and motivational groups. This internship drove Heleema to become more involved in substance abuse issues and fueled a fire inside of Heleema to walk with others in their journey of becoming sober and living a better quality of life. Heleema changed her focus in college to mental health and substance abuse. In 2021, Heleema Began as an intern at We All Rise African American Resource Center, where she was hired on as BYA (Black Youth Alliance) Wisconsin Community Coordinator. In this role, Heleema would visit local schools in attempts to reach out to youth, offering after school preventative programs.
While her passion to assist formerly incarcerated individuals grew, she switched roles to Crime Victim Advocate, a role in which she provided case management for individuals in the community both formerly incarcerated and not. While in this role, Heleema never stopped learning and growing. She continued to attend multiple trainings every month to provide self-enrichment! During this time, she graduated the Gener8tor program (a course geared towards tech), and customer service learning. In her role at We All Rise AARC, Heleema also facilitated workshops geared towards Sex Trafficking with an emphasis on women of color. In December 2021 Heleema graduated with an associate degree in human services, as well as a Substance Abuse Counseling Certificate.
In January of 2022, Heleema began a new journey at a mental health and substance abuse correctional facility in Wisconsin as a Recovery Support Specialist. She offers her life experience to others in their own journey, offering hope, insight and motivation, sending a message that anything is possible with change and determination. Heleema became a Wisconsin Certified Peer Specialist in 2022 and a trainer for Wisconsin Certified Specialist in 2023.
Heleema brings her own personal motto: Do not let anyone put you in a box, including yourself, as you can do anything you want if you work hard for it and never give up, change is possible.