janie ocejo, peer support

my name is janie ocejo and i am originally from san antonio, tx. i came to madison in 1993 to study at the university of wisconsin in madison. i have a ba in social welfare and political science and completed my 1st year of the master’s program at the uw-madison’s school of social work. after attending the uw, i stayed in madison and have had great job opportunities with madison college, access to independence, access community health ctr, domestic abuse intervention services and wi coalition against domestic violence (served as a lobbyist and was on the governor's council on domestic violence). i am now the peer support program coordinator and the bilingual resource specialist at madison-area urban ministry (mum). i do case management, primarily providing a gender appropriate programming to the latino/spanish-speaking community for individuals reintegrating into the community after incarceration. i also supervise peer support specialists. i have been a certified peer specialist since 2015.

what i bring to the backyard mosaic women's project is that i myself have similar shared lived experience with the women that are supported by the program. in 2008, i became incarcerated in the dane co jail and, in 2009, eded up in the wi doc female correctional system. i also have provided direct service and support to women dealing with similar backgrounds in many capacities.

what i get out of the program is knowing that women have a safe space to go and are able to get the support and learn some skills and/or possibly become aware of some their own hidden talents. given the opportunity and resources, anyone can move forward from their situation in a healthy way.