I had absolutely no idea just how many hundreds of lives would be changed with that
fateful phone call on a beautiful Spring morning over a decade ago. It was a mother,
an unbelievably committed, energetic, and wise mother looking for a summer camp
program for her son. Little did I know that our conversation was launching a journey for
her son Brian, for our company, and for a gift in my life that still lives strong today.
I lost count of the number of times this mother called back to speak to me to “get
just a little more information” to make sure we were the right match for her child. I
was intrigued by her passion and she was not remotely hesitant to ask me the tough
questions. Eventually I learned that Brian’s mom was the founder of an advocacy
program for individuals with developmental disabilities—Starfish Savers. It’s no wonder
she knew all the right questions!
Finally, she signed Brian up for an overnight program and he arrived, duffel in hand, with
gratitude in his eyes that his mom was sending him on this adventure. It was not
long into the overnight camp that Brian is rumored to have said “I’m going to work here
one day—I like it here.” The good thing? We liked him too! Brian navigated the effects
of bi-polar every day of his life and with us had found a community and an emotional
embrace to explore his potential, his gifts, and ignite and focus his unquenchable
energy and zest for learning.
Year after year, Brian returned, he thrived, and as a company, it is an honor to consider
that we were a part of his journey through adolescence and were direct witness (and
beneficiaries) to the development of his passions. And we had only just begun…