Congratulations to Mircea Divricean, president and chief executive officer at Kostopulos Dream Foundation and Camp Kostopulos. He was named one of the 2018 CEO of the Year honorees.
When Mircea Divricean worked as a counselor Camp Kostopulos one summer during college, he thought he was just there for a job. But one summer became two, and two became three. After graduating with a degree in finance, Divricean spent a year working in finance before realizing that something was missing.
“Something was just holding me back. Something just wasn’t fulfilling enough for me. It would have been great career path. I got into a great bank and it would have been a phenomenal opportunity, but there was a little bit of an empty spot not connecting to or being part of this beautiful ecosystem at Camp K,” he says.
Divricean returned to Camp Kostopulos in 2001, this time as a full-time employee, and climbed the ranks until being named president and CEO. But through the years—and Divricean will mark 20 years this summer since first stepping onto Camp K—one thing has remained unchanged: the inspiration from the people the foundation serves.
“They’re probably some of the best teachers in the world. They teach you kindness, they teach you honesty, they teach you mutual respect, they teach you love and appreciation. I get those lessons every day. Another lesson I get is resilience: when you have an individual who has to deal with certain challenges that are unimaginable to us—and we are so blessed that we don’t have to deal with those challenges—and yet you see a smile on their faces, you see a drive every day to go forward. That’s the most important thing of all,” says Divricean. “And that grit they have, that passion for life, is tremendous.”
Although he doesn’t strictly work in the financial sector, Divricean’s education hasn’t gone to waste. With the foundation’s financials on public display and donors wanting to make sure every hard-earned dollar is helping as many people as possible, Divricean says his background has proven to be invaluable in helping him make the organization flourish and grow. Since assuming the top job nearly five years ago, he has expanded new and existing partnerships and government contracts, but his primary goal is in improving resources and assistance for the participants in the Kostopulos Dream Foundation’s programs.
“What Camp K used to be, which was providing life skills and social skills, training and opportunities for people of all abilities, has become a full circle,” he says. “It’s not about learning life skills now, it’s about learning job skills and vocational skills and having the opportunity to be fully independent in your own life and living the best life you can.”