Name: Vanessa Chinen
From: Kaneohe, Hawaii
Grade: 12th Grade
School: James B. Castle High School
Growing up the baby in my family, I have never had to deal with kids at all.
In high school, I volunteered as a Children’s
Church Leader at Windward Church of the Nazarene. For two years I
would volunteer twice a week to supervise, teach, and play games with
kindergarten to sixth graders. Initially I did it because my ex youth
pastor needed the help. But that’s actually
when I found out I have a passion for being around kids. Having
this opportunity to volunteer with my local church has provided me insight into the
career I want.
My desire is so much more than just interacting with the kids.
I care for them so much and actually want to help and support them. One of the
biggest challenges I faced while volunteering was getting the
children to open up to me. Some of their parent’s would drop them
off at the service and used it as “free babysitting.” The kids
knew their parents didn’t love them and would lash out on me. So
emotionally connecting with them and showing them I really care about
them is a little hard when they are guarding themselves up with a
While volunteering it has been so rewarding to receive love back from the
children I put so much time pouring love in to. In this position I
have learned that kids have the same feelings as adults but they just
aren’t as good communicating those feelings. It’s important to give
attention and love to these little human beings. They deserve to have
an adventurous, creative, and innocent childhood before growing up.
My plan is to turn my passion into my profession. I will do this by
first getting my bachelor in behavioral health science with an
emphasis in childhood. Then I hope to achieve my master of science in
christian counseling. This time I spent volunteering has definitely been forward looking because
I am getting firsthand experience with the patients I plan counsel.
It’s important to “look forward” because to succeed you need to
be prepared and do as much as you can to achieve your goals. It means
take thing into your own hands instead of just sitting around and
hoping things will be okay. You’ll never get to your destination if
you don’t plan your trip ahead.
Through my volunteer work I ultimately want to see a change in the suicide
rate. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States
and 105 Americans die by suicide everyday. I know I can’t
save everyone, but what if my counseling could save someone’s
daughter, son, sister, or brother. Every life is so precious and I
want to share that with people around the world. So yes, in even ten
years my volunteer activities would have “made a difference”
because sometimes these kids are just one talk away from making a
dumb decision that they will never be able to take back.
To reach my goals, I realize that I must pursue at least a 6 year
college education which will begin with the Fall 2016
semester. I am very excited about my future and feel that with the
opportunity this scholarship will provide, I can help many children
in need of love and support.