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Lived Experience 2: The Journey of Nikoleta Curcin

June 21, 2021

Lived Experience: Nikoleta Curcin

A Courageous story of drug addiction and recovery before, during and after participation in a Drug Treatment Court program.

Justice and Treatment partnerships are multidisciplinary partnerships that aim to tackle social, economic, medical, psychological and other determinants of criminal behavior. This week’s webinar features Nikoleta Curcin, to tell her story of resilience and her experience with the Toronto Drug Treatment Court.

Nikoleta Curcin graduated from the University of Toronto in 2012 with an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. She is a consumer survivor and a recent graduate of Toronto’s Drug Treatment Court program. Upon becoming an alumni of the program in December of 2020, she started volunteering with WriteON, a prisoner rights organization that seeks to empower incarcerated individuals through information and knowledge sharing. Nikoleta is currently working as a Consultant on a research project with the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division and a Peer Researcher with the Justice and Equity Lab at St. Michael’s Hospital. She intends to pursue further academic studies in the field of social work. She is currently working on a screenwriting project during her spare time.

Lived Experience 1 – Paulette Walker

May 26 2021

Paulette Walker - Lived Experience:

A story told by Paulette Walker, a person with lived experience. A story about addiction, sobriety, hope and the resilience of the human spirit. The perils of addiction. The hope of sobriety. How one courageous individual engaged in drug addiction treatment, how she has maintained her sobriety and how she has worked in a drug treatment court to help others engage in treatment towards achieving and maintaining sobriety.

Paulette Walker is a consumer survivor and a graduate of the Toronto Drug Treatment Court at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.


In 2002, Paulette, deep in the throes of her addiction, had the opportunity to change her life and she has not looked back.


In August of 2003, she graduated from the Toronto Drug Treatment Court. She immediately became Alumni of the program and started her volunteer work with Toronto Drug Treatment Court and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Paulette went back to school and applied for a position as a Chef at the Russell Street cafeteria location, where she remained employed until July 2011.


In 2005, Paulette was invited as a guest of the United Nations to share her story.

She also was a recipient of the Courage to Come Back Award. In 2008 and 2013 Paulette received the CAMH Edward Tremaine Memorial Award of Excellence.

2008 Paulette was hired as a part-time peer support worker

While doing this meaningful work she continued working part-time for Aramark in the Russell Street location. Paulette also decided she needed to go back to school where she would be able to do her work more effectively.


In 2012 Paulette Walker completed her Community Support Worker Program at George Brown College. Paulette continues working towards her educational goals.

Paulette was hired as a full time Peer-Support Worker for the Toronto Drug Treatment Court Program in 2012.

2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 Bell Let`s Talk Ambassador.