If you don't know the story already...Being a Vietnamese, immigrant girl growing up in the suburbs of Portland, I always felt too Asian at school. While at home, I was too American for my parents. Camp Odyssey was the first place where I felt I had a place and I belonged. Camp Odyssey was the first place where I began to have my voice.
So when the opportunity came to get together with Odyssey alumni that I've known since my teen years to revive this amazing program, I knew I had to do it. I wanted to give back to the next generation of young people and let them know they have a voice and a place.
The camp is free, so we have to raise a good amount of money. But don't think that you are just supporting a youth for a week. You are truly helping to transform their lives for the next 20+ years.
My Little Additional Story:
I first heard about Camp Odyssey on a school bulletin board, saying "free multicultural summer camp" and the word free was great because I wouldn't have been able to go otherwise.
Camp Odyssey was the first summer camp I ever went to! I can't believe my parents let me go because they wouldn't even let me sleep over night at a friend's house and I was 16! So this White European lady shows up at my door to drive me to camp, named Gretchen Kafoury (I still am in touch with her), and little did I know that she was actually the Multnomah County Commissioner at the time. So, there I was, walking off into the car with Gretchen saying good bye to my unassuming (bless their hearts) parents.
My Last Additional Story:
Been reading the camper/youth applications and they are all so sweet and inspiring. They come from so many different and diverse backgrounds and come for such different reasons - whether it's because they'd like to feel better about themselves, find other teens who share their vision, or that they just want to change the world!
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