Youth Stories

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Gabe's Story

Over the years, Gabe has made a name for himself at Heart of Oregon. His strong work ethic, compassion for others, and positive attitude are an inspiration to corps members and crew leaders alike. Gabe has participated in three of our programs: Camp LEAD, Central Oregon Youth Conservation Corps, and currently, 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 has learning disabilities, he doesn’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. Nowadays, Gabe works hard on our Stewardship crew and plans to join our AmeriCorps program, where he can earn scholarships for college. Although Gabe plans to keep his career options open, he has a special interest in Natural Resources because of the time he’s spent at Heart of Oregon Corps. Gabe is very thankful for his corps experiences, saying, “I developed more of a responsible attitude. I find myself stepping up and taking a leadership type of role. I feel differently about myself. Compared to my first year, I feel a lot happier.”

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