Oscar has faced many challenges in his life. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was young, and his parents struggled to control it. Oscar was hospitalized on many occasions—as many as eight times in one month—so social workers removed him from his family due to what they considered neglect. Soon after, he entered Wayfinder’s youth residential treatment program for foster youth who are medically fragile.
Oscar felt lonely and depressed when he first arrived at Wayfinder. Our dedicated, caring staff offered Oscar round-the-clock care, emotional support and, most critically, specialized training to manage his diabetes.
At Wayfinder, Oscar found hope, health and confidence. When he turned 18, a residential counselor suggested that Oscar apply for his first job at our Camp Bloomfield. Having gone to Camp Bloomfield as a camper, Oscar knew the difference he could make as a camp counselor.
“Wayfinder has molded me into the person I am today,” says Oscar. “To have my first job be at Camp Bloomfield, helping change the lives of others, feels like I’ve come full circle.”
Many of the campers that Oscar interacted with at Camp Bloomfield were visually impaired or had special needs. Though Oscar has not faced the challenge of losing his vision, he has faced other significant obstacles. He understands what it feels like to be different, judged and alone.
“Working with campers who are blind has changed my life,” says Oscar. “It feels great knowing that I’m helping create an environment where they feel safe to be who they are. I can relate to their experience.”
Oscar’s experience has inspired him to pursue a career working with children who have disabilities. We have no doubt he’ll continue changing lives for years to come.
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November 16, 2017