Just Be Happy

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“You were created to succeed and move ahead towards your destiny – and at times you may feel unloved. But if you motivate yourself with faith enough- you can achieve all that you have dreamed of.” ~ Cameron Oates, Facebook post, 7/31/14.

Cameron, 24, begins each day with a positive and uplifting post on his Facebook page. By spreading a positive message and encouraging quotes, Cameron hopes to impact the life of others. His impact is felt at PRIDE Industries and beyond.

One morning, as Michael Ziegler, PRIDE Industries’ President and CEO, was coming to work, Cameron approached him. Cameron expressed his gratitude for having a job and being employed by PRIDE. “Thank you for giving me a good job. It was hard for me to get a job in the community,” Cameron says. We followed up with Cameron to learn more about his story.

Cameron is a young adult with developmental disabilities as a result of being born prematurely. He was born pre-term – as were his two sisters. They are triplets!

In 2012, Cameron began working at PRIDE’s Roseville campus as a hand packager. Eventually, he earned a promotion to PRIDE’s landscaping crew. The group is small and provides landscaping and grounds maintenance services to PRIDE’s Roseville and Auburn campuses, in addition to other community contracts. His group consists of two or three individuals with disabilities supported by their supervisor.

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His position with the landscaping crew allows Cameron to work more independently in the community and gain new skills. “I figured out how to switch out sprinklers, that is new,” Cameron says. He has learned how to use heavy equipment, work well with others and to be a responsible employee. The promotion is a great fit for Cameron; he has received great feedback on numerous occasions. “Cameron is always eager to work, has great attendance, and he is enthusiastic and friendly,” Ashley Bridge, Cameron’s Case Manager at PRIDE says. “He is always willing to try new tasks and gain new skills.”

When asked what his favorite part about working at PRIDE is he responded, “I like everyone’s smile here… seeing others smile, makes me smile. Positivity is the key to success,” Cameron says. The quote, which was passed down by his father, is one of his favorites. Although Cameron lost his dad when he was just five-years old, the quote made a great impact on his life.

Cameron plans to continue making others smile at work and in the world. Through his Facebook page, he has made many friends and influenced others. In particular a young girl from Tennessee; someone he had never met before. Cameron’s words of wisdom and positive attitude helped her to overcome a dark stage in her life and gave her hope and courage to continue with renewed strength.

Outside of work, Cameron uses his knowledge in fitness and nutrition to encourage his friends to live a healthy life and continue pursuing their fitness goals. Cameron earned a certificate in Fitness and Nutrition through Sierra College. In addition, during the school year he helps manage equipment and assist with technical music production during sporting events at Sierra College. As a young boy he recalls feeling left out. “I was made fun of a lot when I was younger,” Cameron says. “I was not allowed to play sports due to my disability.” Now, as an adult, he finally feels as though he is part of the team helping athletes at Sierra and contributing to the community at PRIDE.

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His message for you is: “Just be happy… like the Pharrell song.”

 

7 thoughts on “Just Be Happy

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