Jose Roman


Meet Camp Wings of Friendship camper, Jose! Learn what his experience meant to him and why he is looking forward to more sessions this summer at camp.

Like many of us, once quarantine hit last March, Jose Roman’s world drastically changed. Programs were cut, transportation options were erased, and jobs were lost. But for Jose, last year was even more devastating when his mother passed from breast cancer in April. Jose had never felt so isolated and alone. Thankfully, Jose soon learned of Camp Wings of Friendship through his sister, Nathalie Roman. Nathalie found the camp through her work at the University of Miami – Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD). Her discovery of this free, virtual programming was a blessing for Jose and many other families that her position serves. 

Camp Wings of Friendship is proud to offer interactive experiences five days a week, three times per day for eight weeks for teenagers and adults with neurological and physical differences of all levels—at no cost. Last summer, Jose enjoyed many of the activities but especially those that included art and performing. His favorite session was a tour of the Broward Center for Performing Arts with Gustavo Padrino. Jose recalls that “Gustavo played many different musical instruments and showed us puppets from the Lion King Broadway Show.” This memory holds a special place in his heart as the Lion King was his mother’s favorite movie.

In a time when Jose needed it the most, Camp Wings of Friendship gave him a strong support system and reignited his passions. He was grateful to have had the opportunity to meet people, communicate with others, and enjoy a variety of sessions. He still connects with many of the other attendees from last summer and has this advice for a first-time camper: “You can do anything you set your mind to and you are NOT alone in this pandemic.”