What is Peer Support
Peer Support is a system of giving and receiving support, information, and guidance founded on the key principles of respect, shared responsibility, and mutual agreement. It is where colleagues, members of self-help organizations, and others meet, in person or online, as equals to give each other connection and support on a reciprocal basis
…At GSIL we believe that helping others is not just something we do, but something we live by.
What is Peer Mentoring
Peer Mentoring evolved with the belief that persons with disabilities who are living independently, working, and/or actively involved in their communities can act as excellent role models for peers who seek support, practical advice, and/or assistance with problem solving in living independently within their own communities. A Peer Mentor acts not only as a role model, but also as a sounding board for frustrations related to disability and offers emotional support during the adjustment to independent living.
Meet our Mentors
Alexandria Teixeira is the Peer Mentor Coordinator and New Hampshire Chapter leader for United Spinal Association.
In December 2014 Alexandria was the passenger in a car with her boyfriend and 11-month-old daughter. One left turn made wrong resulted in a crash that left her with a C4 – C5 spinal cord injury. She was med-flighted to Tufts Medical Center, where a mistake was made that caused a double pneumothorax. After waiting three and a half weeks for spinal surgery, Alexandria was finally sent to Spaulding rehab.
““I will never forget asking my family to turn my head so I could look right or left.
The scariest moments were when I laid there unable to move or speak. My first goal was to regain my speech/lungs, which I completed! I am now eight years postinjury! I am not yet able to lift my arms up, but I am proud of what I have accomplished. I can sit up in my chair with no headrest for 10+ hours a day, I am able to sit up on the edge of the table, as well as put my left arm on my arm rest with some new bicep I’ve gained over the past couple years!”
Jennifer Crowell is GSIL’s Peer Mentor Coordinator and a member of the United Spinal New Hampshire Chapter.
Jennifer sustained a Spinal Cord Injury in 2008 by diving into shallow water, resulting in quadriplegia. With the help of family, friends and the supports offered at GSIL she lives independently in her own home, with her service dog Journey.
“I have learned a lot throughout these years and only wish to share my experiences with others to help support their best quality of life.”
Jenny’s life is full – she works part time as a Peer Support Coordinator for GSIL, participates in adaptive sports and recreation, is a voice for advocacy, volunteers in the community, an active fundraiser for GSIL, drives her own accessible vehicle, and is a proud auntie of a niece and two nephews.
(Pictured: Jenny participates in United Way of Greater Nashua’s Over the Edge 2023, a fundraiser for both the United Way and GSIL. She was the first person with paralysis to “go over the edge”!)
Come join our cross-disability peer group every Friday from 3:00 to 4:00 pm via Zoom!
To Join Zoom Meeting: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/99001535337?pwd=SGdZOWZnVi9IK2JZbVA3T1pvaHRPQT09
Meeting ID: 990 0153 5337