Staff

Meet the Alternative Peer Group Las Vegas (APGLV) team.
Joe Engle

Joseph Engle

Founder

Joe’s family moved to Las Vegas in 1978 when he was 11 years old. He graduated from Western High School in 1985 and has worked for Safe Electronics since 2002 as an IBEW Low Voltage Senior Technician. Joe’s 19-year-old son Reese died in 2011 due to an overdose of heroin. The unbearable loss and profound pain that Joe experienced tormented him for a year. Upon the first “Angel Anniversary” of Reese’s death, a group of grieving parents with similar stories decided that they needed to help other families impacted by the opioid crisis. In June 2013, the nonprofit There is No Hero in Heroin Foundation formed to provide support and financial assistance for those seeking long term sobriety from opioid addiction. In the last five years, TINHIH Las Vegas has become a leader in the recovery community as well as a vocal advocate for sustainable recovery programs at the local, state and federal level. Along with Board Members Donn Jersey and Jeffery Horn, Joe advocated for the creation of the Clark County School District’s Mission High School in downtown Las Vegas which opened in the Fall of 2017.

Jen Reid

Peer Recovery Support Specialist / Tutor

Jen moved to Las Vegas in 2015 from her hometown of Troy, Michigan. She is a Michigan State Graduate who taught Elementary School for twenty years. She has a Master’s degree in Education from Marygrove College and has been tutoring privately in Las Vegas for four years. Jen believes strongly in recovery and actively participates in her own. She is a member of a twelve step program and attributes it to getting it to where she is today. She is a certified Peer Recovery Specialist who plans on opening her own business in the recovery field one day. In her leisure time she enjoys working out, hanging out with her family of her boyfriend and cat, reading, attending meetings, and running.

Amanda Worthen

Amanda Worthen

Peer Recovery Support Specialist

Amanda moved to Las Vegas in 1995, where she graduated high school as a teen mom. She pursued careers in pharmacy, medical transcription, and court reporting, but her primary focus was on raising her 3 children. She is now a grandmother and a person in long-term recovery who uses her experience to help others. When away from family, Amanda enjoys spending time outdoors, cuddling with her pitbull, and nurturing relationships within the recovery community.

Eboni Sears

Eboni Jewel Sears

Peer Recovery Support Specialist / SMART Recovery Facilitator / Veterans Advocate

Eboni grew up immersed in the Gullah culture in the Low-Country of South Carolina. But she has lived in 30 cities over the years, from Boston to Long Beach and everywhere in between.

Her resume is as diverse as her list of residence. Her first job out of high school was as a news reporter for WGTN in Georgetown, South Carolina. She’s done everything from an enlistment in the US Navy, tractor-trailer truck driver, network marketing professional, as well as serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA.

She credits her participation with SMART Recovery for giving her the tools she needed to start her journey into long-term recovery, which began in 2007. She’s currently the SMART Recovery Facilitator for the teen and adult meetings public meetings at APG.

Eboni is working toward certification in addiction counseling and currently a Ph.D. student in Transpersonal Counseling. Her professional areas of interest are process addiction and positive psychology.

Joi Sears

Joi Sears

SFP Program Director / Operations

Joi Sears is a dedicated ally to the recovery community. Even though she is not in recovery herself, she has felt the effects of addiction throughout her life. Joi is currently serving as an AmeriCorp Vista, working with There Is No Hero In Heroin to create sustainable programs.
Her lifetime goal is to be a Clinical Psychologist, working with teens that struggle with addiction and their identity. Joi is a lover of all things, but most of all, her work! 

Jenise Johnson

Jenise Johnson

Peer Recovery Support Specialist / Clinical Manager

Jenise Johnson was born in Washington State but spent her adult life in Phoenix, Arizona, where she attended Arizona State University and The University of Phoenix. Jenise received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Arizona State University in 2005 and her Master of Arts in Counseling from the University of Phoenix in 2010. Jenise specialized in trauma counseling, working with both victims of sexual abuse and youth with maladaptive sexual behavior. Jenise also worked with incarcerated men with maladaptive sexual behavior as well. Despite having specialized in trauma for many years, Jenise is no stranger to working with people who have developmental disabilities, substance use disorders, etc.

Jenise is a person in long-term Recovery and is a proud member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Giusseppe Russo

Giuseppe Russo

Peer Recovery Support Specialist

Giuseppe Russo is a young adult in long-term recovery. He grew up in San Pedro California and moved to Las Vegas in 2011. When he moved to Las Vegas he got into drugs. He got sober at 15 on Feb 21, 2020. When he got out of rehab, he went to a High School called Mission High School. He heard about Alternative Peer Group through Mission High School in 2021. Alternative Peer Group helped him stay sober and to find a better way to deal with his feelings. In 2022 he became an employee at Alternative Peer Group. He wants to work at Alternative Peer Group to help people the way they helped him.

Guiseppe Mandell

Guiseppe Mandell

APG Director / Peer Recovery Support Specialist

After the loss of his brother to Fentanyl poisoning, Guiseppe chose to dedicate his career to raising awareness of the opioid epidemic. As a person in long-term recovery, he has lived experience helping those around him as a Peer Recovery Support Specialist and Mentor. Guiseppe had an extensive career in sales and management when he decided to dedicate himself full-time to working with youth in recovery. 

Giuseppe grew up in Las Vegas, NV, and attended Bishop Gorman High School where he was an All-Star Football player. He attended college for law enforcement and was a Police Reserve Officer as well as worked in the bail bonds industry giving him a unique perspective of both sides of the law.
Guiseppe was awarded The President’s Volunteer Service Award, as well as several athletic and sales awards. He also received an ACT of Valor award for going above and beyond the call of duty.

He is most proud of being a sober father of two teenage children. He also loves football, boxing, and comic books. Batman is his favorite.

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