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Five Questions: An Interview with Linda Vahrson, Volunteer/Mentor Coordinator, Community Engagement

Linda Vahrson

A little bit about Linda: “I grew up until age 7 in a small village in Okinawa, Japan, where literally everyone took care of me as my single mom worked on a nearby military air base. I loved my childhood and the freedom I had growing up next to the ocean and pineapple fields. From a very early age, I always liked talking to people and being bilingual, and I had lots of opportunities to guide lost American soldiers in a foreign land. I was adopted at 8 years and came to Middletown, America to my new and strange American family.

“Being a military brat, I traveled most of my life, where I learned to adapt quickly. I became interested in art and languages. I learned Japanese, Italian, and German. I went back to school as a re-entry student and received my BA in art history with a focus on Asian art. I spent 11 years in Germany, where I took a position with Central Texas College, facilitating remedial English and math courses for military GRE testing.  

“I wanted to keep my American culture and language alive for my half German daughter, so I volunteered and became a Girl Scout leader at a nearby Army base. From there, it rolled on to other volunteer positions with various German and American organizations.  

“Volunteer service and D&M’s mission resonates in my heart, and are the reason I am here. Volunteers and staff come from all walks of life, giving of their precious time and energy to a cause they are passionate about and concerned for the welfare of others, to help make lives better and to matter.  I love what I do!”

If I could learn anything it would be: to retrace my Okinawan roots and write Japanese.  

My role models: are my mom and son, who was born with brittle bone disease, and Maya Angelou.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be: a singer and dancer in a rock and roll band. I love entertaining and having fun, and getting others to join in!

My hobbies are: slow long-distance running, yoga, food, travel, watercolor painting, and interesting people .

Quote to live by: “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”   









Our Impact This Year

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  • Youth Internship Hours


  • Housing Provided


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