Volunteer Highlight Garrett Okita

Meet our A/V Tech at B.R.A.I.N.

“My B.R.A.I.N. story” begins a number of years back. If I can recall, I actually started coming to B.R.A.I.N. because of my wonderful girlfriend, little Mai. She would come back from Tuesday night F.B.I. meetings and tell me elaborate, interesting life stories of survivors, inspiring information from guest speakers, and even salsa dance lessons.  These stories peaked my interest as she volunteered every week and made new friends at B.R.A.I.N.  So I showed up to B.R.A.I.N. to observe and volunteer as my schedule permitted (at the time, I was working Tuesday nights). As my schedule freed up, I began attending more frequently. I started looking forward to F.B.I. when I met a guy named Scott Sefcik, who is a cool, funny, and interesting brain injury survivor. He was one of the reasons I enjoyed F.B.I. As I kept coming to more events, F.B.I., and meeting new people, B.R.A.I.N. began to feel more and more like a family.

Everyone here is amazing, from Sue, “the big Boss,” Angela, Lynn, actually everyone, even Pearl.  I love how Angela amazingly has a new theme every week (minus the summers), that’s about 44 different PRESENTATIONS filled with silly games, creative brain exercising activities, important information on health and well-being, etc. – not an easy task!  The heart and dedication of everyone at B.R.A.I.N. is part of why I keep coming back. The B.R.A.I.N. trust (board members) are receptive to ideas and changes suggested by the Brainiacs (volunteers).  This is another thing I love about this organization. It can be easy for organizations to fall into the same routine, but this organization is definitely not stagnant and are truly receptive to suggestions to improve B.R.A.I.N in all aspects. This seems small but B.R.A.I.N allows the volunteers to buy in to what they do.  I love how this creates an environment that allows everyone to feel involved and constantly think of ways to make B.R.A.I.N. the best it can be.

I love the atmosphere of B.R.A.I.N. It’s a fun-loving, socially-awkward, place to be yourself, as funny as that sounds.  B.R.A.I.N. is unique in how it allows me to just be me. These are just some of reasons why I keep coming back, but what really keeps me coming back each and every week to F.B.I. and to the amazing outings, are the survivors.  The love, non-judgement, positivity, encouraging stories, and, most of all, the resilience. B.R.A.I.N. has changed my perspective on life and what it means to live, love, and be happy.

Let’s always remember to enjoy our time together.

Please, please, please introduce yourselves to me, every week if need be, because I am horrible with names, and if you know me, I am extremely shy and an introvert.

See you all at F.B.I.!

-Garrett