In this episode, I’m joined by Oleg Lougheed of Overcoming Odds. Oleg joins me to share his story of how he’s used the challenges and obstacles he faced growing up to create the life that he has now where he’s on a mission to help fellow orphans and adoptees live a life they’ve always dreamed of.
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Oleg's mother turned to alcohol when he was very young and his father was out of the picture. Due to his mother's inability to provide a stable family life for him, Oleg found himself going from relative to relative and, sometimes, the streets of his hometown in Russia. At the age of nine, after being convinced that life would be better at an orphanage, Oleg relinquished his parent's rights and moved there.
Unfortunately, the reality of living in the orphanage was quite opposite from what Oleg had believed to be true as life in the orphanage created many new challenges.
Effects of the traumatic experience:
Oleg had to learn at an early age to take care of himself as he was denied the opportunity for a stable home life.
Overcoming the traumatic experience:
Oleg became part of a folk singing program. Even at the tender age of ten, Oleg saw the program as a means for escape by using his talent. The group of twelve children soon started performing at schools and other orphanages in Russia; they soon had the chance to perform in the US where they were housed with local families in Michigan. After Oleg returned to Russia, he discovered the family he stayed with had begun the process of adopting him. Oleg was adopted in 2005 and moved to America.
Adapting to life in the US had its own challenges for Oleg as he faced culture and language barriers that he needed to overcome. He was fortunate to have the support and guidance of his new family.
What Oleg does today: Oleg is the founder of Overcoming Odds and a public speaker.
Given what you know now, if you could go back to when you were going through the tough times and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Oleg's Answer: Find a mentor; find the person you can look up to; find the person that you can see yourself in; and find the person that believes in you.
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