Shining Bright: Bernie Graduates with Honors 

Bell would like to congratulate Bernie, a member of Oasis House and a client in our Supported Housing program, for receiving his associate degree in hospitality management. Bernie expressed, “This degree is more than just a piece of paper. I had several challenges and hurdles I had to overcome, and I ended up graduating with honors.”

Bernie came to Bell three weeks after he was discharged from the hospital ten years ago. He said, “To be successful, you need the right support, stability, and structure. I had all of these things, and I was able to focus on what I needed to do. I am very thankful for that.” Bernie’s dedication and determination have kept him motivated.

He said, “I am always doing something, whether teaching, volunteering, or DJing; it gives my life purpose. You must challenge yourself to change your life.” As his light shines bright, Bernie says, “Create your shine. If you shine and I have my shine, it becomes a beacon to everybody. Don’t be afraid to shine.”

“I looked at a sleeping bag I was given when I was homeless, and I looked at my diploma. I’m not looking back to focus on the negative but as a reminder that I can do this. All of the things in my life have led up to this. Tell your story and be an inspiration. Turn the pilot light on for someone else through your story.” said Bernie.

“Having my family be proud of me means a lot,” Bernie added. “I needed the structure, stability, and right support to come together and allow me to grow. Plus, there is accountability. I am pretty thrilled, to be honest with you!” We are incredibly proud of you, Bernie! Your hard work, determination, and dedication shine bright.