Ron Riess has taken more than 450 OASIS classes since he discovered the organization during a very difficult time in his life in 1999, and he says OASIS gave him a new outlook.
“I was clinically depressed . . . and was in twice a week counseling,” says Ron of St. Louis, MO. “My counselors were encouraging me to become active and reconnect with life, and OASIS made that easy.”
Ron began taking OASIS classes related to exercise, memory and nutrition to help him manage his depression. But then he began taking a large variety of classes and participating in walking tours in the neighborhoods around his city.
“One aspect of youth is curiosity and adventure,” he says. “I always wanted to play the piano, draw, dance, etc. I took classes to see if I could.”
In his art classes, Ron discovered that he was a better artist when his instructor encouraged him to overcome his fear, and he also improved when he tried a technique that involves drawing the object upside down. He’s also discovered a love of history and enjoys taking classes with a professor who appreciates the input and perspectives of the adults in the classes.
“Sometimes I am curious about something and have no other way of satisfying that curiosity as an individual,” Ron says. He’s learned that he can make suggestions and the next thing he knows, that particular topic shows up in the OASIS catalog.
“OASIS was and is for me a gift from God,” Ron says. “A catalog of blessing arrives in my mailbox every quarter with bountiful opportunities to enjoy life. It really helped with my depression. I would encourage anyone to check out OASIS to find out what they are interested in doing."
"You can learn throughout your life.”