“Many Pathways of Self-employment in Peer Support” – October 2022 Supervisor’s CPS/CPPS Community of Practice

Play Webinar

October 2022 CPS & CPPS Supervisor’s Community of Practice

“Many Pathways of Self-employment in Peer Support”
with Tara Wilhelmi, Cano Padilla, Dominique Christian, and Heather Mroch

October 27th, 2022 from 1:30 – 3:00 pm CT



Tara Wilhelmi, CPS, CPPS, CPS Trainer, Facilitator, Consultant, & Entrepreneur

Tara Wilhelmi leads a grassroots community recovery and wellness organization, EOTO Culturally Rooted.  She is a Certified Peer Specialist (CPS), Certified Parent Peer Specialist (CPPS) and state trainer of Certified Peer Specialists and trainers.  She provides support to individuals navigating mental health, substance use and trauma recovery. Driven by her passion for positive social change and thriving, healthy communities of color she enjoys acting as a connector and seed planter working on several impactful collaborations throughout Wisconsin.  As a Certified Peer Specialist and lived experience public speaker Tara subscribes to a “each one teach one” knowledge and skill sharing ideology that she believes is key to challenging systemic injustice.  She has presented and trained on topics such as valuing & integrating the voice of lived experience, implicit bias and understanding culture/power/privilege to audiences on a national, state, and local level.  Her unique approach and compassionate delivery make conquering these difficult conversations an act of bravery and not an exercise in guilt, shame, or fear.  We all have work to do to create a safer, more just society – Tara believes that together we can! 

Cano Padilla, CPS, CPS Trainer, Facilitator, Consultant, & Business 

Cano has over ten years of experience working with children, families, and individuals as an advocate/mentor and for two years as a Certified Peer Specialist. His professional experience include developing and facilitating programs for at-risk youth for organizations such as Boys and Girls Club of Greater Green Bay, Advocates for Healthy Transitional Living LLC, and is currently at Better Days Mentoring LLC where he serves as the Behavioral Case Manager. He has additional experience in Trauma Informed Care, Emotional CPR, Crisis Intervention, Loss and Grief, in school support for students, Volunteering, Community Gardening, Cooking/Nutrition for youth ages 6-18. He has an abundance of experience facilitating group activities, providing academic support, and creating opportunities for teens to experience college tours, career/job shadowing, along with developing daily living skills. Cano is a lifelong learner continuing to support healing and connection to those in need. He is inspired by people’s stories and strength in those people while also feeling privileged to work with them. Through his own life experience and lessons learned, he hopes to enrich the lives of others and be an outlet for all those who may need support as a Peer Specialist, mentor, or impactful youth programming.

Dominique serves as a Certified Peer Support Specialist/Trainer

Dominique supports people with mental health challenges, psychological trauma, and substance use through AYA Advocacy Group. She is a social worker and graduated with a Masters degree from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. She currently serves as a Housing Program Manager at The Road Home Dane County, overseeing staff who support families experiencing chronic and literal homelessness. Being a CPS allows her to support others through their recovery journey through the encouragement of self-direction and autonomy in their choices. She finds that the greatest part of being a CPS is that she advocates for systemic and policy change at all system levels through teaching an approach that humanizes adverse experiences, trauma, and individualized coping mechanisms. In this work, she appreciates the freedom to choose herself every time, and every day, she is reminded that she is far greater than her troubles. The work is rewarding because it sees her not for what she has been through but for who she’s becoming. As a CPS trainer, her story is her candle; when she trains people, she uses her candle to ignite their flame.

Heather Lynn (fka Mroch), (she/her and they/them), B.A., CPS, CPPS, CPS Trainer, Facilitator, Consultant, & Peerprenuer

Heather is guided by the values of peer support and aspires to embody the values in all their decision and business practices. The values of access, inclusion à felt sense of belonging, peace and justice informs all their work and gives direction in their life. Heather has been a business owner since 2016 and has recently transitioned to being completely self-employed in 2021. Heather’s main role is providing 1:1 yoga facilitation and peer services in the Milwaukee County Comprehensive Community Services network. Additionally, Heather provides consulting and Peer Specialist trainings across the State of Wisconsin as an independent contractor. Other pursuits that Heather is actively working on include a writing project, “The Embodiment of Peer Support,” leading workshops at conferences, offering trauma sensitive yoga workshops at yoga studios in the Milwaukee area, training community members in Reiki Level 1 and 2, 1:1 and group Reiki and healing sessions, and pursuing real estate projects in the City of Milwaukee. Additionally, Heather has recently submitted Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for several projects via Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division. Heather has 10+ years of professional experience in the field. Heather received their BA in Anthropology and Peace Studies for UW-Milwaukee plus a plethora of additional trainings and some graduate level work. Heather enjoys spending their time studying yoga, being on quad skates and hanging at the skate park with their kids, cooking, and exploring green spaces in Milwaukee County. Heather is a twice divorced single parent of 4 kids – if they can do it, so can you!!! Heather is available to offer healing services and peer inspired support for folks looking to complement their path towards wellness, health, and liberation



Are you a Peer Specialist who is interested in self-employment, sub-contracting and/or becoming an entrepreneur but the steps to making your entrepreneurial dreams come true feel like a mystery? Well, the workforce has asked and the WIPSEI was listening. We invite CPS/CPPS & Supervisor’s of CPS/CPPS to come join us on October 2022 Supervisor’s Community of Practice to learn more about what it means to be your own boss, the many pathways possible, and the possibilities afforded to those of us who want to take the leap into entrepreneurship. Our guest panelists are eager to share their lived experience, entrepreneurial knowledge, barriers to opportunities and the many rewards experienced throughout the self-employment journey. Additionally, we will explore their greatest motivations and what keeps them going during times of difficulty and/or lack of motivation. Most importantly, the guest panelists are committed to sharing how culture has shown up & how it continues to show up in presently, in their role as entrepreneurs. They will discuss how privilege, or lack thereof, has shown up & how they navigate these realities as they grow. Also, we hope to discuss how equity, diversity and inclusion shows up in their roles & the real challenges arise when we are all reaching for the same resources such as similar contracts, consulting and/or business opportunities other peers, who are likely friends, may be reaching for them too. We invite your curiosity, your questions , and we will be ready for a real, down to earth conversation about the realities of self-employment. Also, how to make self-employment a reality. We invite all who wish to participate, to register at the link below the panelists bios.

Feedback Survey/CEH Information:

We invite you to please fill out the evaluation survey link (click here) if you attended this community of practice gathering or if you watch the recordingThe survey will close at 4:30pm on Thursday, November 10th. Certificates of Participation will be sent to those completing the evaluation form by 4:30pm on November 17th, 2022. No evaluation surveys will be accepted for CEH credit after the evaluation survey’s closing date/time.

This website is managed and maintained by staff at Access to Independence working on the Wisconsin Peer Specialist Employment Initiative. The words, views, and values presented herein are not necessarily representative of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.


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