Parents will do almost anything for their children. They will take an extra shift or, if they’re tech-savvy, defend their kids on social media. Dad-of-five Fred Vautour set the ultimate standard, working 23 years as a graveyard shift janitor at Boston College to send his kids to school.
“I came from a poor family and kind of a broken home and I was kind of on my own,” Fred Vautour explained. “I did my best to be a father and a family man.”
Boston College, which provides benefits for its staff, granted all five of Vautour’s children a place in the school. While Vautour was able to save $700,000 in tuition, his greatest pride was watching each of them graduate.
“I want to be remembered as the grandkids knowing that their grandfather did a lot for my own,” he said. “And my kids are learning from that and they seem to be doing well with their kids, too, so it’s a trickle-down effect.”
Vautour has expressed his gratitude and still works at the university, however bittersweet. The hardworking dad has proved that status isn’t everything. Sometimes, being a good parent is enough.
Some people refuse to let their hindrances get the best of them. Figures like Joseph Hale, a child model with Down’s syndrome, are replacing “normal” with “unique.” Now, blind triplets Nick, Leo, and Steven Cantos have done the same, earning ranks as Eagle Scouts. And it’s all thanks to their adoptive father.
“Having the boys in my life has been nothing short of a series of miracles day after day after day from the very day that they came into my life,” [said Ollie Cantos]. “Life has just never been the same.”
Dad Ollie, also blind, adopted the talented threesome when they were eleven-years-old. In teaching his boys to navigate through daily life, Ollie encouraged them to sign up as Boy Scouts. Without special considerations, each sibling earned 21 merit badges.
“I’ve always seen myself as the person who just happens to be blind. For me, I just happen to have a disability. It’s not the defining factor of my life. I made it the same way as other Eagle Scouts,” Steven Cantos said. “Everyone has difficulties in their lives. We all have trials. That’s how life is.”
Blind, deaf, mute, or what-have-you, clearly, anything is possible. All it takes is a push.