At just 16-years-old, Christina Huynh has set major goals for herself and is headed toward an even brighter future. The high school senior is a star student, having recently completed six Advanced Placement courses in subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Spanish and U.S. History to name a few.
But what sets this audacious young lady apart from her peers is her 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 as they completed Habitat for Humanity 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 had been living in a one-bedroom apartment where the three shared a room. The small 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 for Humanity Tucson home, the family welcomed twin girls – a perfect addition to the family who now had the space to decorate 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 together, 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 soon-to-be high school senior will be completing a medical internship in Phoenix. She hopes to attend the University of Arizona to follow a career path in the medical field. And all the while, she promises to continue volunteering her time to helping the lives of others.
Christina currently volunteers at the Habitat for Humanity Tucson offices and HabiStore, as well as the community library. She says that she encourages young people to get involved in their community, as it builds a better foundation for everyone.
“I think it’s really important for the development of yourself and the development of the community,” she said of volunteer work. “It’s really exciting, refreshing and new to volunteer in your local community because you never know who you’ll meet and what you’ll find.”