Friends Associations’ Team Members obtain CRS Certification

Yulanda Myers and Jessica Leighton are the Friends Association's latest Peer Certified Recovery Specialists
Image via Friends Association for Care and Protection of Children
Yulanda Myers and Jessica Leighton

Two team members from the Friends Association for Care and Protection of Children have been recognized for completing coursework to become Certified Recovery Specialists (CRS).

Yulanda Myers and Jessica Leighton recently completed the year-long course that certifies them as peer specialists through the Peer Support Expansion Initiative held by the Council of Southeast Pennsylvania.

Peer Recovery Specialists are people who have been through life experiences like those they support.

They have been successful in personal recovery and have firsthand knowledge of the healing process.

 While Yulanda and Jessica had a unique recovery journey, one thing they both have in common is their utilization of the recovery community resources such as sponsors and peer support.

They were inspired to pursue their own desire of giving back to others that are going through similar substance use and/or mental health recovery journeys.

“Yulanda, Jessica and all our PSEI Students have done a remarkable job in dedicating themselves to providing quality peer support to individuals in need throughout Chester County. The “Power of Peer” that our students exemplify allows them to reach people, to connect, to understand and bring positive change in incredible ways,” said Dan Rowan, Peer Service Enhancement Initiative (PSEI) Program Coordinator.

Becoming a Certified Recovery Specialist takes months of extensive classroom learning and achieving at least 18 months of sobriety.

Myers also completed an additional certification to become a CFRS or Certified Family Recovery Specialist.

While a peer support specialist does not substitute or replace treatment with a healthcare provider when it is needed, they can provide a unique layer of support.

Both Jessica and Yulanda are working at Friends Associations’ NIA House, a SAFE home located in Coatesville.

In addition to housing, the NIA house program provides supportive services that focus on key factors that impact successful reentry for women’s economic empowerment, long-term housing, healing from trauma, health and well-being, peer support, and family reunification.

The program also includes a leadership development program to develop women into future leaders to act on issues impacting their lives.

Friends Association is a Chester County 501c3 nonprofit focused on solutions to family homelessness.

Hundreds of families in the wealthiest county in Pennsylvania experience the trauma of homelessness every year.

With a bold vision for change, Friends believes in the power of neighbors coming together to create a more equitable community for all.

Friends Associations’ innovative programs are focused on four key areas: preventing homelessness, providing emergency shelter, partnering with families to support their stability, and promoting systemic change.

Find out more about the Friends Association.

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