Youth Stories

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Gabe's Story

Over the years, Gabe made a name for himself at Heart of Oregon. His strong work ethic, compassion for others, and positive attitude were an inspiration to corps members and crew leaders alike. Gabe participated in three of our programs: Camp LEAD, Central Oregon Youth Conservation Corps, and Stewardship. We were so impressed with Gabe during his first summer of Camp LEAD that we asked him to return the following year as a peer leader. He didn’t let us down. He encouraged open communication, led by example, and demonstrated patience with youth who were learning environmental conservation for the first time. Gabe also took on an informal leadership role during his second year with COYCC, one of HOC’s most physically demanding programs. He always managed to keep his fellow crew members’ spirits up, even during some of the most arduous projects.

Although Gabe had learning disabilities, he didn't let this hinder his drive to succeed. His determination in COYCC helped him earn credits through Heart of Oregon Corps toward his modified high school diploma. Gabe was very thankful for his corps experiences, saying, “I grew a lot since my first year and developed a sense of responsibility. I found myself stepping up and taking a leadership role.” In 2018, Gabe successfully transitioned from HOC and landed a job working for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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