Posted on Thursday September 3, 2015
A Helping Hand
Friendly Wheels, Issue 104
With Amigo owner Stefan Orlando of West Branch, MI.
For Amigo owner Stefan Orlando, helping others has always been second nature.
Stefan’s natural instinct to lend a helping hand later evolved into over 25 years in the education industry. “I always had a knack for helping others out,” he said. “Even at a young age, it was something that came very natural to me.”
Growing up in West Branch, Mich., Stefan was the youngest child in the family. “Though I was the youngest growing up, I always had the responsibility of watching my younger cousins,” he said. “I guess that’s where it all started.” Stefan continued to mentor others as he got older. While in college, he worked as a summer camp counselor at the Saginaw YMCA.
After completing school, Stefan began his career at Ogemaw Heights High School, which is his alma mater. Stefan worked as a high school teacher for
nine years before switching to his current role as a high school counselor.
With experience in both positions, Stefan noticed several differences between being a teacher and a counselor. “A big difference as a counselor is that there’s less homework to go through,” he said. “I actually have time to watch the Detroit Lions play on Sunday afternoons!”
In his role as counselor, Stefan also enjoys the opportunity to connect with students on a deeper level. “It’s definitely more gratifying as a counselor because you can build a stronger relationship with students,” Stefan said. “I’m able to make a one-on-one impact with them and see their improvements firsthand.”
Heading into his 26th year at Ogemaw Heights, Stefan continues his everyday work with the help of his Amigo. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis seven years ago, Stefan wasn’t really sure what to expect. “I thought I would have to leave my job on disability,” Stefan recalls. “But once I got my Amigo, it immediately helped and allowed me to continue working. It was a Godsend.”
When Stefan’s not helping out at school, he’s most likely helping out at home. With a wife and three children, Stefan enjoys his downtime by camping, cooking and attending his children’s sporting events. “Whether at work or home, I use my Amigo everywhere I go… it’s my life!”
We are truly inspired by Stefan’s commitment to education and his passion for helping others. We hope you have a fun and successful school year!