Peer Spotlight

Peer Leadership Graduates
Honoring Our New Leaders

We are excited to showcase the Certified Peer Specialists in Missouri that completed a  Transformational Peer Leadership Training  through the Peer Recovery Center for Excellence during the year 2023. MO Certified Peer Specialists are an integral part of the behavioral health workforce, providing peer support and leveraging their own lived experiences to assist others in their recovery journeys.  The Department of Mental Health and the Missouri Credentialing Board continue to work together with these graduates to find new and innovative ways of networking with agencies and communities in order to maximize the benefits of peer services. 

Please join us in celebrating our graduates. 

Our Peer Leadership Graduates

We’re super proud and honored to highlight our Missouri Peer graduates.

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Sarah A. Earll, MFA, CPS, CRPR, HRS

Executive Director, DBSA/St. Louis Empowerment Center

Sarah Earll is the Executive Director of the St. Louis Empowerment Center, a peer-run drop-in Center and Recovery Community Center.  She became a Certified Peer Specialist (CPS)in 2009 and she has been a trainer for the Peer Specialist program since 2011.  In 2020, she received her Certified Reciprocal Peer Recovery (CRPR).  In 2023, Ms. Earll became a Harm Reduction Specialist. She is also a Certified WRAP ® (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) Facilitator and a Certified WHAM (Whole Health Action Management) Facilitator. Ms. Earll was a member of the State Advisory Council for the Missouri Department of Mental Health-Division of Behavioral Health from 2012-2019. Sarah is a Board member of the Missouri Credentialing Board as the Peer Representative. She was awarded the 2016 Missouri Mental Health Champion Award for Mental Health. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, TX and a Master of Fine Arts from Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL. 

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Mollee Flores

Wellness Empowerment Coach at Amethyst Place

Meet Mollee Flores, a passionate advocate for wellness and empowerment in the substance use disorder recovery community. She serves as the Wellness Empowerment Coach at Amethyst Place, supporting women and children impacted by substance use disorder, poverty, and trauma. She also serves as the Lead Program Coordinator in the Kansas City area for The Phoenix, helping people in recovery heal through social connection by coordinating free events and meaningful activities. Mollee holds health coaching and group fitness instructor certifications from the American Council on Exercise, as well as a certified peer specialist certification, medication awareness specialist certification and harm reduction specialist certification issued by the State of Missouri. She earned her bachelor’s in social work from Avila University in 2023. Mollee served as a Kansas City Community Wellness Ambassador through the City of Kansas City, Mo., Health Department in 2023 and is an alumna of the Parent Leadership Training Institute, cohort three. Mollee currently serves as a supporting member on the Kansas City Harm Reduction Coalition.

In her free time, Mollee enjoys traveling and embarking on outdoor adventures like hiking and bike riding with her family. Her unwavering dedication to making a positive impact, combined with her expertise and personal experiences, allows her to empower individuals and foster transformational change. Mollee’s commitment to holistic well-being shines through her work and her personal life, making her a true advocate for wellness in all aspects of life. 

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Meagan McNamara

Operation Manager of Sana Lake Recovery

My name is Meagan McNamara and I am a person in long term recovery. I love  working with others who struggle with addiction, it is very personal and dear to my heart. As someone who once had no hope, I love to share with others that it is possible to get and stay clean and that our disease does not define us! I have been working in the recovery field since 2020 and have moved through multiple positions. I have been a Housing Peer, Lead Housing Peer, Associate Director of Recovery Supportive Housing, Outreach Coordinator for a New Dawn Family Healing, and now currently am the Operation Manager of Sana Lake Recovery. There is nothing we can’t do if we work hard and put our hearts into it. I hold multiple credentials with the state of Missouri (CPS, MARS, and CACD) and am currently back in school working on an associate degree. All of which are possible due to Recovery. I love to help other individuals to heal and find peace and happiness. I also work a Narcotics Anonymous program, in which, I am part of a homegroup, have a sponsor, have multiple sponsee’s, work steps, and do service work within that community. I love seeing the light come back in people and to watch them find themselves again, there is nothing I would rather do!

Savanna Davidson
Savanna Davidson

Certified Peer Specialist

I started my recovery journey January 15, 2019. I pursued A CPS credential August 2020, and started working at the Recovery Outreach Community Center. I worked there until July of 2022, and then moved to a bigger organization called The Ozark Center. Recovery has been a blessing for me. Through my own recovery, I have started going to college, and I have found a purpose for my life. I have experienced the importance of community, and  purpose, health and home within my journey. I have empathy for others and I continue to strive to be a better leader, and a better person everyday at my work, and within my community.

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Amanda Rowland, BS, CRADC, CPS

Housing Director, Recovery Lighthouse, Inc.

Meet Amanda Rowland. Her journey began with her own personal experience of long-term recovery, which inspired her to become a Certified Peer Specialist for Recovery Lighthouse in Warrensburg. Starting as the peer for the Johnson County Recovery Court in 2020, Amanda quickly became a trusted source of support and guidance for individuals seeking to overcome addiction. In early 2022 Amanda became a Certified Reciprocal Alcohol and Drug Counselor.

Her commitment and expertise led to an expansion of her role within the agency. In October 2022, she was offered the position of Housing Director, where she now oversees four NARR Accredited Homes with 29 beds. 

In addition to her peer and counseling certifications, Amanda is also a Certified Peer and Clinical Supervisor, reflecting her commitment to mentorship and professional development within the field. Her academic background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and Sociology, with a Minor in Criminal Justice, providing her with a well-rounded perspective on the social and systemic issues surrounding addiction.

Despite her professional achievements, Amanda remains grounded in her personal journey of recovery. She credits peer support as a cornerstone of her own success and finds fulfillment in walking alongside others who are on a similar path. For Amanda, the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of others is not just a job but a calling—one that brings her joy and purpose every day.

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Jonathan R. Bates CPS, MAADC II, MARS

FCC Urgent Behavioral Health Crisis Center

Jonathan Bates is a Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) at the FCC Urgent Behavioral Health Crisis Center in Poplar Bluff Missouri. Jonathan became a CPS in May of 2022 and has since received his MAADCII, HRS, and MARS certifications. Jonathan is a Veteran of the United States Navy and has a law enforcement background. He has worked as the Assistant Director of a Poplar Bluff rescue mission for homeless men, a co-founder and former board member of Crossroads Recovery Ministry, former board member of The Bread Shed food ministry and has also worked with children in need of temporary emergency placement. Jonathan is currently working on getting credentialed to be part of the NOVA Community Crisis Response Team. 

Jonathan stated the reason he “does what he does” is because someone helped him once and introduced him to a brighter future by giving him the most precious gift there is…hope.   

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Erin Hestand , LMSW, CPS

Erin Hestand is a passionate advocate for women’s empowerment and recovery. As the Adult Empowerment Manager at Amethyst Place, she utilizes her personal experiences to inspire hope and guide others towards a brighter future.

Erin earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Avila University and a Master’s in Social Work from St. Louis University with an emphasis on financial social work.

Now a dedicated professional in the field, Erin applies her expertise to support single mothers in recovery, promoting financial stability and self-sufficiency. Erin shares, “I’ve found that giving women hope on how to maintain their four walls, how to save and general knowledge of finances is freedom. We live in a country of consumerism that doesn’t encourage us to get out of debt. I want to lead a tribe of women that are debt-free and financially empowered.”

Her perseverance and dedication to empowering others are a testament to the impact that self-determination coupled with guided support can have on individuals facing adversity.

 

Angie Stamate
Angie Stamate, CPS, MAADC-II, PPF

Community Rehab Supervisor at University Health Behavioral Health

My name is Angie Stamate and I’m a Certified Peer Specialist, MAADC-II, and credentialed in Pregnant and Postpartum Families in Recovery (PPF). I am proud to say I have recently been promoted from Engagement Associate to the Community Rehab Supervisor at University Health Behavioral Health where I supervise and support the 7 Certified Peer Specialists. I was inspired to choose this career path because I am a person in long-term recovery. I have lived experience with childhood trauma, substance use, and domestic violence. I was born to parents who were struggling with substance use and domestic violence. This led me to also turn to substances to cope not only with my childhood trauma but with my behavioral health diagnoses, and leading to being a domestic violence survivor in my adult life. Due to the substance use and domestic violence, my four children were placed in the care of my mother by DFS. Six months later, I was able to enter a women’s shelter where I then got into treatment and started attending a 12-step program. I would like to say I have been substance free since then, but that is not my story. I have been in recovery for over 4 years now and free of substances since March 26, 2020. In July of 2020, I moved into Amethyst Place, a long-term supportive housing program where I regained custody of all 4 of my children and found an unmatched sense of community, belonging, and support for myself and my children. After living there for 2.5 years, I moved out in February and am now an alumni. I am very passionate about staying engaged with the current residents, also known as my Sisters, because I believe it’s important to maintain that sense of community and not forget where I come from in light of my successes. Not only have I stepped into leadership roles at my current place of employment, but I have also taken on leadership roles at Amethyst Place. I’m excited to continue peer work, both at my place of employment and in my personal life.