“I have been working in this field for almost 3 and a half years. I moved to Lafayette from Indianapolis in 2016. In 2018, I started learning about peer support and what it really means to support individuals with mental health and substance use issues in our community. Harm reduction makes sense in so many ways and in so many areas of life. We are all adjusting to constant changes based on what is working for us and what is not. Seeing people that I work with everyday do those things to better their lives is amazing. I have been able to work with families, specifically mothers and their babies, teenagers, people who are incarcerated, people experiencing homelessness, people with mental health concerns and people who use drugs. Inspiring hope, advocacy and motivation, and giving extra support and resources to them is the number one priority in whatever I do.
I was able to receive the Tippecanoe Celebration Recovery Rally’s Peer of the year award alongside one of my great friends in 2019. I have been honored to be invited to several seats in our community, including the advisory committee for Recovery Café Lafayette, and being able to facilitate recovery circles there. I am also a member of Team Hope for A Better Life – Brianna’s Hope, a mutual aid support group for the whole family affected by substance use disorders, and other groups doing powerful things within our community.
I am the proud mother of a four-year-old daughter, Layla. I love spending time with my family, being on the water, camping, trying new food, music, dancing and laughing as much as possible.
This community has become home in the past 5 years and my life has changed so much in that time. I thank my own family and the family I have met here and grown so close to.
I am grateful for the many opportunities that have come my way and I am ready to keep going.” – Grace Paton
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget the way you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou