Spirit of Courage Award: Josue Ocasio - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Spirit of Courage Award: Josue Ocasio

Posted: Updated:

One of this years Spirit of Courage honorees is a man who found light out of the darkness of addiction, and is now becoming that light for others.

Entrenched in a life of drugs and crime in Philadelphia, Josue Ocasio felt hatred around him.  

"Society made me to be a monster, society made me to be a violent person, society made me to be a person that nobody liked," he said.

His desperate past put him in prison for life- or so he thought.

Josue got a second chance, being released after serving just 17 years. He attributes his turn of fate to an act of God.

"I'm here for a reason, who knows what He wants me to do, just to share my story to share my life experience, and behind bars I couldn't do that," Josue said.

Despite his new found freedom, Josue still faced a bumpy road here in Erie, where he sought treatment at Stairways Behavioral Health.

He said if it weren't for an angel named Julie,  "I would be dead somewhere, and that's the God's honest truth... she went through places that I never imagined she would, got me out of crack houses... and worked with me... she's the best thing that ever happened I can't ask for any better."

Julie has been his wife for four years now.

She shares the credit for his recovery with the staff at Stairways.

"Stairways was great for him," she said, "his therapist Char was great I mean she is probably one of the best things he could have found... she was a huge impact on his life."

Josue is now giving back to those who pulled him from his dark past, by mentoring other addicts.

"I wanna help people that were in my situation who are going through the things that I went through, who you know can learn or have a better understanding of what I went through," he said.

He tells them what he wishes he himself would have accepted earlier.  "There are people that care out there, that they're not alone, I mean that if you give the chance to people to help you, they will," he said.

Julie said that's what kept her hanging on through the trying times that tested her patience and her faith.

"He wanted the help, and every time I'd go out and look for him and he was going through one of his what I call "moments"... I would ask him, you know, 'is this gonna stop and do you want help', and he would say 'yes.'"

Now three years clean and sober, living happily with his wife and her two children, Josue says he's found peace with himself.

"I like the person that I am today, you know, I've earned who I am today," Josue said. "I have everything that I want and more, and to me it's a beautiful thing."

The Spirit of Courage Awards are sponsored by the Sisters of Saint Joseph and will be presented on October 1st.

Submit your event now
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Bob Evans Express Coming to Millcreek Mall

    Bob Evans Express Coming to Millcreek Mall

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:58 AM EDT2014-07-23 13:58:03 GMT
    Erie,PA - Bob Evans Farms, Inc., in partnership with Warren, Ohio-based foodservice company AVI Foodsystems, Inc. (AVI), today announced plans to open two Bob Evans Express locations in shopping malls this year. The fast casual concept will open in food courts at Great Lakes Mall in Mentor, Ohio, and Millcreek Mall in Erie, Penn. Bob Evans Express is a non-traditional restaurant concept designed for venues such as workplace cafés, universities, airports, malls, service plazas, hospitals and...More >>
    Erie,PA - Bob Evans Farms, Inc., in partnership with Warren, Ohio-based foodservice company AVI Foodsystems, Inc. (AVI), today announced plans to open two Bob Evans Express locations in shopping malls this year. The fast casual concept will open in food courts at Great Lakes Mall in Mentor, Ohio, and Millcreek Mall in Erie, Penn. Bob Evans Express is a non-traditional restaurant concept designed for venues such as workplace cafés, universities, airports, malls, service plazas, hospitals and...More >>
  • Memorial Ride Held For Fallen Biker

    Memorial Ride Held For Fallen Biker

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:33:04 GMT
    As Roar on the Shore brought tens of thousands of bikers to the Greater Erie area, it also brought tragedy as 66-year old William Stablein was involved in a horrific motorcycle accident. It cost him his life.More >>
    As Roar on the Shore brought tens of thousands of bikers to the Greater Erie area, it also brought tragedy as 66-year old William Stablein was involved in a horrific motorcycle accident. It cost him his life.More >>
  • Erie Man Swims Across Lake Erie

    Erie Man Swims Across Lake Erie

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:19 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:19:36 GMT
    A local businessman is now part of an elite group of swimmers who've successfully swam across Lake Erie. Welcomed by friends and family, Elliot Spaeder successfully swam from Long Point, Ontario, to Freeport Beach in North East. "The best part was easily the finish when I saw the finish when I saw land…kind of brought a little tear to my eye,” said Spaeder. “Seeing everyone here cheering for me, that was awesome." Spaeder began his journey at 7:14 a.m. Tuesday, and was able to complete it aro...More >>
    A local businessman is now part of an elite group of swimmers who've successfully swam across Lake Erie. Welcomed by friends and family, Elliot Spaeder successfully swam from Long Point, Ontario, to Freeport Beach in North East. "The best part was easily the finish when I saw the finish when I saw land…kind of brought a little tear to my eye,” said Spaeder. “Seeing everyone here cheering for me, that was awesome." Spaeder began his journey at 7:14 a.m. Tuesday, and was able to complete it aro...More >>
  • Conneautville Celebrates Its Bicentennial This Week

    Conneautville Celebrates Its Bicentennial This Week

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:46 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:46:18 GMT
    A small town in a Crawford county is planning to celebrate big this week.Conneautville is celebrating its bicentennial. This week, a small Crawford county town will come alive, as hundreds of people will gather for a big celebration.Conneautville, is a small borough in Crawford county, along Conneaut creek. And it has a lot to celebrate this week.Founded in 1814, they're celebrating 200 years.Once a booming town, today, it looks far different than even 50 years ago.But this week, residents cu...More >>
    A small town in a Crawford county is planning to celebrate big this week.Conneautville is celebrating its bicentennial. This week, a small Crawford county town will come alive, as hundreds of people will gather for a big celebration.Conneautville, is a small borough in Crawford county, along Conneaut creek. And it has a lot to celebrate this week.Founded in 1814, they're celebrating 200 years.Once a booming town, today, it looks far different than even 50 years ago.But this week, residents cu...More >>
  • Suspected Meth Lab Found in Titusville

    Suspected Meth Lab Found in Titusville

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:22 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:22:20 GMT
    A suspected meth lab has been discovered, in a town that's fought hard to overcome its former reputation as "the meth capital of Pennsylvania". More >>
    A suspected meth lab has been discovered, in a town that's fought hard to overcome its former reputation as "the meth capital of Pennsylvania". More >>
  • Second Fatal Motorcycle Accident In Two Days

    Second Fatal Motorcycle Accident In Two Days

    Saturday, July 19 2014 6:50 PM EDT2014-07-19 22:50:19 GMT
    One person is dead following a motorcycle accident on I-90.More >>
    One person is dead following a motorcycle accident on I-90.More >>
  • Water Ski Clinic for People With Disabilities

    Water Ski Clinic for People With Disabilities

    Monday, July 21 2014 3:55 PM EDT2014-07-21 19:55:29 GMT
    Sunshine and warm temperatures at Conneaut Lake meant perfect conditions for today's kickoff of the 24th annual water ski clinic for people with disabilties.It is sponsored by Three Rivers Adaptive Sports.More >>
    Sunshine and warm temperatures at Conneaut Lake meant perfect conditions for today's kickoff of the 24th annual water ski clinic for people with disabilties.It is sponsored by Three Rivers Adaptive Sports.More >>
  • Dredging Barcelona Harbor

    Dredging Barcelona Harbor

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 3:45 PM EDT2014-07-22 19:45:21 GMT
    A busy harbor on Lake Erie will soon be busier and safer for boaters.Crews have started dredging Barcelona Harbor in Chautauqua County.More >>
    A busy harbor on Lake Erie will soon be busier and safer for boaters.Crews have started dredging Barcelona Harbor in Chautauqua County. More >>
Powered by WorldNow
3514 State St. Erie, PA 16508
Newsroom: (814)454-8812
Toll Free: 1(800)454-8812
Business offices: (814)454-5201
WICU FCC Filing
WSEE FCC Filing
Share:
Share Stories
Submit your stories to our site!
Share Photos
Share your photos in our community galleries
Mobile:
Mobile Site
Be sure to stay constantly updated with the power of WICU12 and WSEE at your fingertips
Free Android App
Free iPhone App
Free iPad App
Storm Tracker App
Droid
iPhone
iPad
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WICU. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
                   WICU/WSEE - 3514 State Street Erie, PA 16508 - (814) 454-5201 - info@wicu12.com