At just 16-years-old, Christina Huynh has major goals for herself and is headed toward a bright future. The high school senior is a star student and recently completed six Advanced Placement courses in subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Spanish and U.S. History.
But what sets this audacious young lady apart from her peers? She has an intense desire to touch the lives of others through volunteer work.
Why? Because Christina grew up in a Habitat for Humanity Tucson home.
The core value of community involvement was instilled in Christina from a young age. She was a child when she watched her parents build their home and the homes of their neighbors through Habitat Tucson’s homeownership program. She saw the energy and passion of the volunteers who worked alongside her parents.
Today, she acknowledges that she’s directly benefitted from the kindness of Habitat Tucson supporters and donors.
“I knew how much Habitat helped my family and I wanted to see how I could help others,” Christina said. “The sense of community – since everyone got to work together and got to know each other – that was really cool.”
The then 8-year-old and her parents lived in a one-bedroom apartment where the three shared a room. The apartment was cramped even then, but little did they know, their family was about to get much bigger.
“Moving into a bigger home and a better neighborhood was really exciting,” she recalls.
Shortly after moving into their Habitat Tucson home, the family welcomed twin girls – a perfect addition to the family who now had the space for a nursery.
Christina and her sisters love their home. It’s where they’ve made memories together. They’ve spent countless days playing at the park nearby with their neighborhood friends, have tended to a garden, and decorated their rooms with books and posters.
“Not only is it physical pride – it incorporates the American dream – to be able to own a home,” Christina said.
That dream is allowing Christina to pursue dreams of her own.
This summer, the HabiTeen will be completing a medical internship in Phoenix. She hopes to attend the University of Arizona pursue a career in the medical field.
All the while, she promises to continue volunteering her time to help others.
Now, Christina volunteers at the Habitat Tucson offices and HabiStore, as well as the community library. She encourages young people to get involved in the community, as it builds a better foundation for everyone.
“It’s really important for the development of yourself and the development of the community,” she said of volunteer work. “It’s exciting and refreshing to volunteer in your local community because you never know who you’ll meet and what you’ll find.”
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