Peer Counseling
Three individuals in wheelchairs holding hands

Program Description​

Individuals with various disabilities come together to offer their personal knowledge and experiences to people who have recently acquired a disability or whose disability has altered their current way of life.These mentors promote the philosophy of independent living and instill the belief that having a disability is not the end of the world but the start of a new and worthwhile adventure.

Peer Counseling Team

Jose G. Lara

Independent Living Skills/Peer Counseling/Transportation Program Coordinator

Education: Degree in Journalism

Experience: DJ in radio and TV stations in Juarez, Mexico for 16 years.

Special Education Instructor 1980 – 1984.

Independent Living Skills (ILS), Peer Counseling and Transportation services Coordinator since January 2003.

Served on several local and state boards such as the Coalition of Texas with Disabilities.

He is a graduate of the prestigious Partners in Policymaking class of 1996..

Arrived in El Paso in 1986 and became associated with Volar CIL and D.I.O. (Dignidad, Igualdad y Oportunidad)

A Hispanic Group of people with disabilities. Mr. Lara is also a member of ADAPT: the largest national grassroots disability rights organization in the country.

Interests: Spending time with family

Favorite Quote: “Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead. Tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I am to be happy in it.” – Groucho Marx

Christina Onmacht

Independent Living Skills/Peer Counseling/Transportation Program Assistant Coordinator

Education: Medical Assistant Degree

Experience: 18 months representing VOLAR CIL

Interests: Watching Dodgers games and spending time with my kids

Favorite Quote:  In a world where you can be anything, be kind. – Jennifer Dukes Lee

Three individuals in wheelchairs holding hands

Peer Counseling

Program Description

Peer Counseling is one of the five core services provided by centers for independent living.  Individuals with various disabilities come together to offer their personal knowledge and experiences to people who have recently acquired a disability or whose disability has altered their current way of life.  These mentors promote the philosophy of independent living and instill the belief that having a disability is not the end of the world but the start of a new and worthwhile adventure.

Peer Counseling Team

Jose G. Lara

Independent Living Skills/Peer Counseling/Transportation Program Coordinator

Education: Degree in Journalism

Experience: DJ in radio and TV stations in Juarez, Mexico for 16 years.

Special Education Instructor 1980 – 1984.

Independent Living Skills (ILS), Peer Counseling and Transportation services Coordinator since January 2003.

Served on several Local and State boards such as the Coalition of Texas with Disabilities. He is a graduate of the prestigious Partners in

Policymaking class of 1996..

Arrived in El Paso in 1986 and became associated with Volar CIL and D.I.O. (Dignidad, Igualdad y Oportunidad)

a Hispanic Group of people with disabilities. Mr. Lara is also a member of ADAPT: the largest national grassroots disability rights organization in

the country. 

Interests: Spending time with family

Favorite Quote: “Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can

choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead. Tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I am to be happy in it.” – Groucho Marx

Christina Onmacht

Independent Living Skills/Peer Counseling/Transportation Program Assistant Coordinator

Education: Medical Assistant Degree

Experience: 18 months representing VOLAR CIL

Interests: Watching Dodgers games and spending time with my kids

Favorite Quote:  In a world where you can be anything, be kind. – Jennifer Dukes Lee