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>>

  • Fast Moving Fire Destroys Waterford Home

    Fast Moving Fire Destroys Waterford Home

    Thursday, April 17 2014 11:39 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:39:13 GMT
    A wood burning stove could be to blame for starting a fire that destroyed a home in Waterford, Thursday afternoon.It took firefighters from 7 different departments 3 hours to control the blaze.The fireMore >>
    A wood burning stove could be to blame for starting a fire that destroyed a home in Waterford, Thursday afternoon.It took firefighters from 7 different departments 3 hours to control the blaze.The fireMore >>
  • Store Owner Seeks Assistance in Identifying Suspects

    Store Owner Seeks Assistance in Identifying Suspects

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:26 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:26:35 GMT
    We're learning more about the armed robbery that took place Tuesday night. The suspects, two men, hit the Stop N' Go convenience store located on 8th and Peach, just 2 blocks away from the Erie PoliceMore >>
    We're learning more about the armed robbery that took place Tuesday night. The suspects, two men, hit the Stop N' Go convenience store located on 8th and Peach, just 2 blocks away from the Erie PoliceMore >>
  • Construction Accident on Bayfront

    Construction Accident on Bayfront

    Thursday, April 17 2014 11:42 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:42:57 GMT
    No one was injured in a construction accident this morning on the Erie bayfront. It happened as crews from Chivers Construction were working on the Erie Port Authority's $3.4 million dock wall replacementMore >>
    Construction Accident on BayfrontMore >>
  • Shooting Victim Speaks Out About Murdered Neighbor

    Shooting Victim Speaks Out About Murdered Neighbor

    Monday, April 14 2014 5:56 PM EDT2014-04-14 21:56:11 GMT
    The survivor of a double shooting incident on East 27th Street last Tuesday is speaking out from his hospital bed. Jason Thomas talked with 12 News Lisa Adams about the gunfire that killed his neighborMore >>
    The survivor of a double shooting incident on East 27th Street last Tuesday is speaking out from his hospital bed. Jason Thomas talked with 12 News Lisa Adams about the gunfire that killed his neighborMore >>
  • Waterford Family Homeless for Easter

    Waterford Family Homeless for Easter

    Thursday, April 17 2014 5:07 PM EDT2014-04-17 21:07:22 GMT
    A Waterford family's home has been heavily damaged by fire, a sad start to the Easter holiday weekend. It is a two story house at 201 E 1st Street in Waterford. We believe that the fire started in theMore >>
    A fire destroys a Waterford home and changes the lives of the family members who live there, just in time for the Easter holiday weekend.More >>
  • UPDATE: Toddler Shot in Cochranton

    UPDATE: Toddler Shot in Cochranton

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 1:15 PM EDT2014-04-16 17:15:10 GMT
    A two- year- old child from Crawford County is in a Pittsburgh hospital, after he was shot in the face with a pistol. State Police in Meadville say the incident happened inside a residence in a mobileMore >>
    A 2-year-old child from Crawford County is in a Pittsburgh hospital, after he was shot in the face, just beneath the eye, with a gun.
    More >>
  • Overcoming Violence in Erie

    Overcoming Violence in Erie

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:16 PM EDT2014-04-17 02:16:19 GMT
    Jovon Johnson is no stranger to violence in the Erie community.Back in 2008, his 15-year-old brother Daquan Crosby was shot and killed near East 7th and Wallace Streets."He was a victim of gun violence,"More >>
    Jovon Johnson is no stranger to violence in the Erie community.Back in 2008, his 15-year-old brother Daquan Crosby was shot and killed near East 7th and Wallace Streets."He was a victim of gun violence,"More >>
  • Ship Arrives for Emergency Repairs

    Ship Arrives for Emergency Repairs

    Thursday, April 17 2014 11:54 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:54:37 GMT
    DonJon Shipbuilding will be doing some unexpected work in the coming days. The Canada Steamship Line vessel Atlantic Huron pulled into Erie for emergency rudder repairs. Two tugboats are working togetherMore >>
    Ship Arrives for Emergency RepairsMore >>
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