PJ Simonson

Support Services Coordinator

I started out working as an assembler in a plastic’s manufacturing plant and gradually began working in quality control as an inspector. Quality Assurance and Quality Control was my career for many years in different capacities from cosmetic’s to avionics to electronics.

In the early ‘90’s I took some college course’s that enabled me to move from working in manufacturing to the front office. At first I worked as a customer service representative and then became an administrative assistant.

Although I managed to be a responsible employee, my personal life suffered as my drinking progressed. Getting sober in 2002 was the first step in my recovery journey. I had seen a handful of counselors and a psychiatrist for my depression, but it wasn’t until I got sober that my real recovery journey began. It was then that I started growing up and seeing things in a different light. At two and a half years sober I began working at RI International in the Another Chance Program assisting individuals who were homeless and struggling with substance challenges sign up for the program and serving lunch. This was very rewarding and furthered my own recovery journey. Within months I became a Recovery Mentor and had the privilege of taking the Peer Employment Training.

Peer Employment Training offered a very personal transformation for me and I began to make some major life changes that were very empowering. In 2008 there was an opening in what was Recovery Opportunity Center (now RI Consulting: Peer Support and Recovery Training) for an Administrative Assistant. This was an opportunity to work with and support the trainers who travel all over the United States and abroad in carrying the message of hope and recovery through Peer Employment Training. As our role grows and we move forward as RI Consulting, I continue to grow in recovery and am grateful to be here.