“Camp helped me gain confidence and become more comfortable and open about my disability.”
We hear this often from Easter Seals campers. We hear that campers became more independent, learned new skills, and celebrated their abilities. But what does that mean over the course of a lifetime? For Heather it meant feeling prepared to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, it meant being confident and open to new opportunities for growth and experience, and it led her to a career she is passionate about.
As individuals we all have our own dreams and aspirations, but we can take very different steps to accomplish them. It’s hard to find your path as a young adult, but this can be especially daunting for persons with disabilities who at 18 suddenly find themselves aged out of many of the programs and services they have relied on.
Easter Seals Teaches Fundamentals
Heather was only six years old when she first went to Easter Seals Camp. For the next twelve summers, Heather developed friendships, improved skills, and discovered interests. As a teenager at camp, Heather made her first public speech where her counsellors quickly realized her natural speaking ability and encouraged her to apply for the Easter Seals Ambassador Program.
Easter Seals Open’s Doors
For five years Heather told her story at Easter Seals events, earning her practice and experience, and even an internship when an executive in the crowd heard her speaking at an event. But more than all that, it inspired a passion for story-telling and a confidence in herself that remains today. After being an ambassador Heather’s involvement with Easter Seals continued. She joined the 24 Hour Relay organizing committee, helped train new ambassadors in public speaking, and did a co-op term for school as an event assistant in the Easter Seals office.
Easter Seals Lasts a Lifetime
Today Heather is responsible for marketing and human resources at a local engineering firm. She recruits employees, executes marketing strategies, prepares advertisements and marketing materials and more. But through this time she still credits her time at Easter Seals Camp as big part of the self-assured, independent individual she is today.