A Testimony from Family

July 20, 2017

Dear Ms. Jones,

My sister, Mrs. Linda Fisher St. Onge, who lives in Okla. City, told me about your reunion, and I have since read all about it on your website. I worked for O.I.C. in 1969 and 1970 when it was downtown. I have always been proud of the work O.I.C. has done all around the country, and I remain especially proud that I was a part of O.I.C. in Okla. City.

In 1970 I moved to N.Y.C. and in 1971 founded an all-volunteer G.E.D. school for adults, and in six years we put 750 students (ages 17 to 80+) into the City University of New York with high school equivalency diplomas. I modeled much of our volunteer organization on O.I.C.

I would love to hear from anyone I knew at O.I.C., especially my fellow teachers Willie Batson, Sandra Eakers (m. name Johnson, last I heard), and Jean Turnipseed. Our director was Mrs. Lewis.

I spent most of my professional life as a newspaper editor, starting with The Daily Oklahoman in 1960. I retired from Newday, in 1995, and I’ve been living in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, for 22 years. (I had been here in the Peace Corps, 1965-68).

I’m going to find some Jack Daniels and lift a glass to you and O.I.C. and send my best wishes for the second half century of Oklahoma City O.I.C. If you see or know my old friends, pls. give them my love, along with my email address: shfisher@yahoo.com. I’m 75 now and I doubt I’ll ever see Oklahoma City again (I was born there and graduated from Classen H.S.).

With great joy,

Steve Fisher

 Our Reply


July 22, 2017

Mr. Fisher,

THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing your love, thoughts, wisdom, and history with OIC! My apologies it has taken days to respond but, in addition to preparing for the event, I have been widely sharing your email with other members of the OIC Board and Staff.  We have all been completely blown away by your expressions!

Although we know we are privileged to work for an agency that has been fighting the good fight for more than 50 years, it is so easy to forget our rich history and the thousands of lives that have been touched by our work.  Each one of you who lead the way before us helped to carve out BIG FOOTPRINTS in CONCRETE for us to follow! It is my hope that I will be able to contribute even a measure of what those before me have done. With this reunion today, it is our expression to all of you–far and wide–that we are THANKFUL, BLESSED, and most significantly that OIC LIVES!

The need is ever-present and ongoing, but the lives and the stories…OMG the stories!! I have long ago stopped wearing makeup to work as I typically end up crying with someone at least 3 times a week lol.  They trust us, Mr. Fisher, to help guide them to those lost dreams. And it is a privilege, Sir, to know that I am sharing the knowledge and experience of that trust with YOU!

Only an OIC Family member knows the OIC WAY. It gets into us like a fabric in our blood and we are driven to serve–no matter where we are, no matter whatever else we might be doing. Our kids become OIC kids! And it changes us, always for the better.

Thank you for sharing your testimony with us. It is one of the many motivations that is driving us today, at Taft Stadium, with the OKC Energy Soccer Team, and in 103 degree heat!!

I have never met you, but my spirit knows you all too well! I tip my hat to you and join you in raising my glass from OIC of Oklahoma County!

DesJean Jones
Executive Director