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Helen Skipper

Skip, as she prefers to be called has been working in Peer Support since her final release from years of multiple incarceration and systems involvement in 2007. She has transitioned out of the Senior Manager of Peer Services position at the New York City Criminal Justice Agency, where she was intentional in creating space for individuals with lived experiences, to her new journey as Executive Director of the NYC Justice Peer Initiative which began in late March 2022. 

Skip is a Consultant at Urban Institute where she sits on several research initiatives representing community voices and lived experiences. The inaugural Executive Chair of the NYC Peer Workforce Coalition and an executive leadership team member of the NYC Justice Peer Initiative, Skip is the first Peer Supervisor employed by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene which was documented in her role in the groundbreaking – media acclaimed Friendship Benches NYC.

A Beyond-the Bars 20/21 Fellow, she is also a Columbia University Justice-in-Education scholar and attended St. Francis College where she is the first Justice Initiatives program participant to be invited to join the Honor classes.  

She lives by her mantra – “I’ve been around the block a time or two on my tricycle and use those lived experiences to color my world while assisting, supporting, advocating, and navigating for those still caught up in the oppressive and broken Criminal Justice System!”