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

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 David & Margaret'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

  • Youth & Families Served


  • Youth Internship Hours


  • Housing Provided


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