When I asked Jennifer Maria Padron to write a little about herself to go along with some photos she had discussed sending in to be published in our magazine, needless to say, I was a bit surprized by her openness and willingness to explain her story with this amount of detail.  I had read her writings and knew that she had a way with words and grabbing people by their literary throats and pulling them into her world.  I feel this really gives you some insight into this great talent in our Peer world.  I think we're lucky to have her and call her our own.  This was our exchange, unedited:

TAIC:  If at all possible, I'd love for you to write a little article about what inspires you and your recovery story.  1/2-2 pages typed would be perfect. Just something that serves to put the photos in some sort of context.  Even a small bio would help.

18379255_10155265396622964_1598536390_o.jpg (c) Phoenix Austin Knight (2017)


I am inspired by beautiful things getting done in a hurry. Painting relaxes me and inspires me to doing Good.

What’s helped me throughout my Recovery journey were rare people, places, instances and things converging to get me to this point, today, exactly. Nothing more. Nothing less. I’m lucky..

I witness and hold space for the burgeoning, controversial, bitch-slapped US Peer Workforce in the world of US Public Community Mental Health. My consultancy
Klein, Padron & Associates is the national go-to for anything Peer Workforce in the US.

I’ve arrived at this point with
the Death business (e.g., US MH/SA) in my 40s while in Austin, Texas working for the State of Texas Rehabilitation Commission as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor committed to only excellence for individuals living with varied abilities (MH, SA, DD, ID, TAY, Comorbidities). At 40 I had a hysterectomy to clean, burn and seal off against Endometriosis. The surgery was followed by zero hormonal replacement therapy, subsequently creating an opening for challenging recovery emotionally, physically, psychically. What followed is that I slipped through cracks and a predisposition for mental diversity predictably took me down the mental health road for treatment, medically invasive treatmetns (ECT) until at least 2016 (Endometriosis related, Surgery was 2004).

dirty faced baby.jpg dirty faced baby © Jen Padron, 2015, Atlanta, Georgia

In grief and overwhelming loss/trauma triggered all attempts in me singlemindedly to complete. To abate the nonstop suicidal death ideation  I sustained invasive, “clinically and medically necessary” Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT, 2003-2005) and today measured short term and long-term memory or any cognitive recall errors in processing.

My purview into the “giving back” world of Philanthropy and/or Volunteerism started with NAMI Texas, DBSA Texas and eventually I sat for my State of Texas Certified Peer Specialist certification with Ike Powell and Beth Filson (Appalachia Consulting, Georgia) in Austin. Activism and Advocacy became my first name in Texas, and then regionally and to today, nationally. My work was pivotal to the State of Texas Certified Peer Specialist certification, endorsements and founding/branding via HOPE Texas Mental Health Resource Center after an ‘09 SAMHSA transformation grant was awarded to NAMI Texas and MHA Texas.

My dream is to build a physical brick and mortar health home supported by virtual webbed networks of integrated care, all supported by a Peer workforce (CPS. FPS, RC, CHW and all endorsements to each). The success of the model will replicate broadly. This is my legacy I will leave after my physical death years from now.

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