#FreshAirForever: A Journey to Sisterhood
“They were very much invested in me as a person as well as my education,” Fresh Air alum, Felisha Primus said as she recalled her summers spent in Port Colborne, Canada. “One year, I almost couldn’t come because I had to attend summer school. They wanted me to come so much they arranged for me to have academic support while I visited.”
Now, almost 30 years later, and living in South Carolina, Felisha shared that her first Fresh Air summer was when she was seven years old as part of The Fresh Air Fund’s Friendly Towns Program, a host family program where NYC children can return to the same family each summer, form special friendships and gain new perspectives.
Felisha’s time spent with her host family showed her a different outlook on life outside of her experiences living in the Bronx and Brooklyn.
After over five summers visiting her host family in Canada, Felisha wanted to try The Fund’s camping program. She was excited to start her new adventure at Camp Mariah, a camp dedicated to providing campers ages 11-15 with career awareness opportunities including job shadowings, tutoring and more.
Felisha remembers meeting her camp counselor and future life-long friend, Laverne Osborne at Camp Mariah. “She’s seen me since I was young and is always there to support me in any of my endeavors as an adult. It’s just a sisterhood that started from The Fresh Air Fund” Felisha said.
All summer long, Laverne and Felisha learned from each other and explored various career paths such as exploring the arts and learning to sew. Laverne served as a role model for Felisha and through the years their friendship as a counselor and camper changed to sisters.
Today, Felisha and Laverne continue to have adventures together. The duo just returned from a music concert this week!
Felisha’s story is one of the many that show the strong relationships created through Fresh Air experiences and demonstrates the impact of Fresh Air programs.