Breaking Glass Ceilings


The Peer Association INC (TPA), recognized as a 501c3 per the IRS, is engaged and targeting innovative approaches to meet the needs for persons with criminal records and entrepreneurship. All charitable donations will be used to develop a new apprenticeship program and curriculum in the healthcare i... Read More

Campaign URL:

The Peer Association INC (TPA), recognized as a 501c3 per the IRS, is engaged and targeting innovative approaches to meet the needs for persons with criminal records and entrepreneurship. All charitable donations will be used to develop a new apprenticeship program and curriculum in the healthcare industry including a national certification as a Peer Specialist titled “Apprenticeship to Entrepreneurship - Breaking Glass Ceilings.”

This gender-responsive initiative combines career preparation and business ownership to create a pathway for justice-involved women to enter into the healthcare industry as peer specialists and independent contractors in Wisconsin. Trends in the healthcare industry demonstrate the demand for persons who have lived experience of incarceration, substance use disorder, mental health issues, or a combination thereof, to be part of intervention and/or treatment solutions for this vulnerable population, especially women, who are often underemployed, low-skilled, and without livable wages. According to studies produced by Mental Health America and Kaiser Permanente, the use of Peer specialists as part of the healthcare team improve recovery options for persons being served, because the value of the lived experience cannot be underscored.

The requirements for becoming a peer worker, and owning and operating a business vary among states, making the need for standardization paramount, which is why TPA is anchoring this workforce initiative as the first of its kind national apprenticeship-to-entrepreneurship program. Paid on-the-job training gives value to women with lived experiences while preparing them to have the option of becoming entrepreneurs promoting a solution to the barrier of a criminal record. A national curriculum and approach is vital for apprenticeship approval.

Piloting a non-traditional Apprenticeship-to-Entrepreneurship program, we would provide individuals the opportunity to recover from mental illness and/or substance abuse while reentering. It is most important to recognize this opportunity would not otherwise be available without capital TPA is privy to and is willing to approach with an open-mindedness to engage investors to build a recovery, reentry focused behavioral workforce and apprenticeship approach.

TPA intends to approach our mission drive and build a Workforce, as Wisconsin being a pilot state, based on the needs of the population, the need for educated workers based on the growing retirement population, increased work in the healthcare arena and build a stable workforce, while reducing recidivism and re-incarceration.

The United States Federal Glass Ceiling Commission defines the glass ceiling as "the unseen, yet unbreachable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements."

The glass ceiling is continuing to affect women today, but, with opportunities focused on creating gender equality, women will be able to break through this “ceiling” and affect change in the work world. While companies are shifting toward greater gender diversity in the workplace, it is still necessary to identify and rectify why women are not gaining leadership positions, even though equal pay for equal work exists. Evidence shows organizations that actively encourage their management to promote diversity in the workplace bring about measurably positive results. Active management in diversity has led to pay equity, more flexible schedules, and equal access to advancement opportunities.

Our approach will create purpose and community to those who wouldn’t typically have the opportunities to learn skills historically handed down generation to generation and/or obtained through traditional educational opportunities. We teach self-sustainability, provide long lasting results that create independence, increased self-esteem and pride in one’s ability to care for themselves and families.

Thinking innovatively in the workplace and installing unconventional programs has led to more women employed in better paying, more responsible positions. We have the solutions and are outcome- and goal-orientated in our approach!

  • Give women equal pay for equal work — an act that would cut poverty in half. Women still make only 78 cents for every dollar earned by men — and for women of color, the numbers are even worse.
  • Educate and train women to move into quality jobs created by the stimulus package, rebuilding our infrastructure and greening the economy.
  • Invest in education and healthcare now to ensure that we have the human capital to sustain a healthy economy.
  • Engage women directly in the policymaking process as advocates and elected officials.


Task 1

Needs Assessment-Curriculum and design team gets focused on understanding the intent of and expectations of the completed curriculum.

Task 2

Planning-Discussions about the content of the curriculum to be designed and developed occurs.

Task 3

Content Development-Curriculum Design and Development teams which usually consist of two to four content experts, two curriculum design experts, curriculum and training design experts, graphic and digital experts, and a team leader; per subject area. Content development days to successfully design and research content areas, instructional strategies, create lesson plans, and design complementing participant materials and training aids is based on complexity of content. Anticipated Completion - 6 Month Benchmark

Task 4

Pilot Delivery and Revision-Curriculum is piloted with a sample of the target audience to validate content, instructional strategies, and expected outcomes. Anticipated Completion - 12 Months

Task 5

Completed Curriculum Pilot Package-Year 2


No update found.

Breaking Glass Ceilings

$0 of $200,000


Breaking Glass Ceilings

Mishelle O'Shasky, on behalf of

The Peer Association INC

Minority women have been found to have the most difficulty in "breaking the glass ceiling" because they lie at the intersection of two traditionally oppressed groups: women and people of color. To cover budgeted expenses for our project and to accomplish the goals outlined for one year is $200,000.

Mishelle O'Shasky

Mishelle has worked with individuals with mental illness, substance use, and criminal justice lived-experience since 2010. Mishelle has been a tireless advocate for reentry support and mentoring since her release from prison in 2010 after three incarcerat

Rudolph, Wisconsin

Recent Donations