Keep Faith

Another year has passed as I start to reflect on the good, the bad, and the beautiful; but as I look forward, I still fear the great unknown towards graduation and what lies after.

Many have and will continue to tell me, ‘at least you know what you want to do after graduation’.
Sure, I am an aspiring Child Life Specialist, however, my path towards getting there is unclear and I feel that my skillful toolbox in becoming a CCLS is very incomplete.
I do not doubt that I could have possibly made plans for God to laugh at, only to alter them as quickly as I thought of them.
Yet, I have to keep faith.

In 2013:

  1. I finally started volunteering at my local children’s hospital. As I’ve come to learn, volunteering was not all that I had expected. Someone has to clean all the dirty toys, and that someone was me; but let me just tell you, I cleaned those toys with pride.
  2. I stumbled upon this beautiful career goal in the middle of the night, while simply searching for nursing positions.
  3. I realized that with motivation and focus, I could push my study skills in obtaining a near perfect 4.0 GPA.
  4. I discovered that my prayer at a basilica in Costa Rica to the blessed Mother had been answered;  the ability to have an open mind and open heart. Without this, I wouldn’t have had experienced all that I have up until this point and become who I am as of now.

It is in 2013 that I had discovered, realized, stumbled, and finally started to conquer the small stepping stone leading up to my bigger goals in life. From here on out, I can only keep on having faith/motivation/confidence/focus that 2014 will be a continuos upward movement as I apply to grad school.

It’s Beginning to look a lot like…

Christmas! (A Hawaiian Christmas, of course!) 

I’ve been away from this blog too long, which is all due to school :( 
However, I have so much awesome stories and inspirational messages that I’ve come across this past month of volunteering, that I just can’t wait for exams to be over so I can pick up on extra me time to share my stories with all of you out there! 

In the mean time, I hope all of you had an awesome thanksgiving and are continuing to pray and play with your patients :) 

Growth is a necessity

Life in general has been a roller coaster ride. 
Since it is my last year in college, I’ve been trying to balance school life, work life, volunteering, family, friends, and me time. 
To be honest, I’ve had some days where I felt stuck with my thoughts and what I should do next. 

After finding inspiration to become a CCLS, I’ve been trying think out options after graduation. 
Grad school or try and score an internship? 

I already know that I must move for either of these two choices due to the lack of opportunities in CCLS here in Hawaii, but my love for the pacific, sunshine, and the west coast has my heart torn on two choices.

Without considering the competition, I’m hoping for an internship at CHOC (Children’s Hospital of Orange County) in California (my dream hospital to work in someday) or apply to the graduate program in Child Life at Wheelock College. 

I’ve been praying a lot, asking for a sign and motivation. So far, to my surprise, my gut feelings are telling me go to grad-school in Boston and try something new. I’ve never been to the east coast and I can’t picture myself living half way across the globe, let alone part of the time in snow…but after giving much thought, I figured if this is the best way for me to grow in order to serve the community better, then I will do it. 

I suppose my love for the West Coast will have to wait, but if I so happen to get both, it will be a tough choice. 
If anyone has input about my choices, let me know! I really need an outsiders perspective. 

Expect the Unexpected

For my volunteer program in my local children’s hospital, it requires me to come once a week for about 4 hours. So far, I’ve only volunteered about 5 times, and each time has gotten better.

At first, I wasn’t sure of what I was expecting. I had high hopes that I would be able to interact with the patients, go room to room, and be really hands on, I was slightly wrong. My hands on work considered of cleaning nearly all the toys and electronics, and merely observing the interaction in the playroom. If I had enough time, after cleaning/organizing/filing/ I was then able to mingle with the patients that came in and out of the play room.

Honestly, I was slightly disappointed with my playroom experience (at first). Being a part-time substitute teacher’s aid, I was so used to taking lead and being able to really interact with all the kids, but at the hospital, I felt restricted by doing desk work and cleaning in my little corner, while I watched my passion unfold before my eyes.

Admittedly, I learned patience. Observing helped me prepared for the unexpected. Sure, they taught me about the do’s and the don’ts but to see it in action, by other volunteers or CCLS, helped me prepare mentally for what ever problems I may need to overcome when I’m in their shoes. Like I said, every week has gotten better. I realized the faster I clean, means I have a higher chance to interact with the kids (ha ha! Don’t get me wrong, I still clean 110%🙂 )

In the last two weeks, I got to spend some time with a charming girl. She was painting everyone’s nails in the playroom, and though I was cleaning, she had waited till I was done to paint mine too. It was probably one of the best manicure I had received, even if she only did one hand. I got to watch the smile on her face as she painted crazy colors on each of my fingers, while we talked about her favorite movies and the actors she found cute.

Who is that guy at the end of the Break Fast Club? You know, where he throws his fists in the air?  He is so CUTE!”  I chuckled on the inside and exclaimed that I too, thought he was pretty handsome. 

Then just last week, we met again, and she was so happy to see I still had her colorful manicure in place. I had told her I would be needing a touch up and she happily agreed. I never did received a touch up but I did receive something much greater. To witness a child getting discharge from the hospital (she was there for about 3 weeks), and to witness the ecstatic energy and joy emitted from both the family and the child’s face, was just amazing. I also received such a loving goodbye hug, as I told her to get well and keep giving out manicures. Just like the ending song in the Breakfast Club scene, I won’t forget about you🙂 tumblr_mrw9q6tvGi1rnk67yo1_250 Much Love & Patience, An Aspring CCLS


“What I’m not”


What I’m not:

   A nurse. 
   A doctor. 
   A social worker. 
   A “Keeper of the Toys.” 
   A magical “make-this-kid-not-cry” person. 
   Only someone to play with the kids. 

   I’m not superfluous.

What I am:

   I am a teacher, 
   A helping hand, 
   A support, 
   An advocate, 
   An active listener, 
   A therapeutic touch, 
   And a child development specialist 


   I am an OR prep-er, 
   An IV teacher, 
   A de-coder of PICC, VCUG, MRI and NG, 
   A distraction provider, 
   An inpatient support, 
   And a guide and voice for siblings 
   All in the same day. 

   I am calm despite cancer, CAT scans, and catheters. 
   I am strong in the face of syncope, sickle cell, and surgery. 
   Kids can’t always do these things for themselves. 
   That’s why I’m here. 

   I am deliberate in all of my actions and words 
   Because I use the language of children 
   And it has power. 
   I am flexible and go where I’m needed 
   Because children can’t always be flexible 
   About when they’re going to freak. 

    I am not here to merely play with children, 
      give them toys, and distract them 
      With “SpongeBob”. 

   I’m a Child Life Specialist. 
   When kids say they can’t, I tell them they can.
                  – Steve Slowinski

For more information about Child Life, the career path, schooling, and networking, please check out my page titled, “Child Life What-you-ma-call it”, in the tabs above next to Home/About (unless you are on a mobile phone, you can view the page under the menu drop down list🙂 ) 

Much Love, 
An Aspiring CCLS


It started with a Prayer

When I was a child, I used to pray for a lot of silly things, such as receiving the newest toy on the store shelf. 
Of course, however, our thoughts and prayers tend to mature with us as we grow.
The one prayer that has been stuck with me ever since I was a child, was my prayer and desire to help others. 

“I want to help people, I’m not sure in what way or how, but I know for a fact that I want to help others, only You can show me the way.” 

As I got older, especially during my journey through college, this prayer started to shape and define itself remarkably. 

My intentions were to become a psychologist, but after walking out of a graduate program meeting for psychology, literally in tears, I realized a path of research and lab work was not for me; I wanted more hands on work, but I feared the great unknown. 

It was after my little break down when the doors of opportunities started to open themselves slowly. After taking a few nursing classes and landing a job as a substitute preschool teacher’s aid, I discovered my love for children and health. (Yes, I admit, I never thought about working with children, I was simply looking for a summer job one year ago) 
And in one year, my mindset (and my heart) had change when I stumbled on a job listing as a Child Life Specialist, when I was really searching for nursing positions at a specific hospital in California. 

That specific job listing description spoke out to me! Reading that a bachelors in psychology or child related field was needed, with love for children, and dealing with family/children relationship in a hospital setting, I just knew this was my calling. 

Thus, I began my journey. 
As I mentioned before, Hawaii resources in child life are limited, which required me to research even harder. 
Though small, my local children’s hospital does have a Child Life Team, which I believe consists of 3 certified Child Life Specialist, the other remaining 2 in a total of 5 in the state are located at another hospital location. 

It is unfortunate that not many know about this wonderful developing profession, and even more upsetting that this department goes underrepresented at the hospitals located here, but I will do what it takes to not only spread the word of good about it, but hopefully become a specialist myself. 

All thanks to a simple prayer.