Monica and Frank: parents' reflection
When Karina was in elementary school, she felt alone and ostracized. She has come such a long way since then. We have made sure she had connections with friends who were accepting and trustworthy, and all the programs she was able to access as a client at ErinoakKids have helped Karina become the person she is today.
Karina has been a client since she was six years old when we moved to Oakville [Ontario] from Montreal. In addition to therapy, she took advantage of writing camps, horseback riding, drama and other programs at ErinoakKids. Everyone has been so supportive of Karina and our family. She has worked with many wonderful people over the years, without whom she would have not reached her personal goals. We are so grateful that ErinoakKids was there to offer our family integrated services that addressed all of Karina's needs.
A few years back while vacationing in Utah, we marveled at Karina's riding skills. We could not believe that she had the courage to ride the narrow and steep trails of Bryce canyon. I remember two men who rode with the group telling us how impressed they were with Karina, because they said they were scared. Standing along the edge looking down at the long deep drop to the bottom of the canyon is daunting enough on foot, never mind sitting high in a saddle on a horse. It took a lot of courage but Karina said she placed all her trust in her guide, God and her horse, Blueberry. We were both fearful but Karina assured us that because of her riding lessons with ErinoakKids, she knew what she was doing and felt the horse had better footing than she would. “The horse doesn't have spatial perception problems,” she said.
At the Lifting Lives Music Camp, in Nashville, Karina had the opportunity to meet Carrie Underwood, Wynonna Judd, Little Big Town, Gary Allan, Odie Blackmon, Brett James and Darius Rucker. While there, together with Brett James, Gary Allan, Odie Blackmon, producer Mark Bright and the Lifting Lives Campers, Karina had the opportunity to write, record and perform her second collaborative original song called Harmony at the Grand Ole Opry. Karina's future goals include college, continuing to develop her vocal and guitar skills, and giving back to ErinoakKids as an independent music artist. She hopes that her friends at the Academy of Country Music and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center will help her reach her goal by inspiring both Canadian and American artists to help ErinoakKids. "It would be a dream come true if they came out here to help everyone."
– Monica Schmidt & Frank Scali (Karina Scali's parents)
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