Hayley Younkin ’08

Hayley developed a passion for helping individuals with disabilities while serving at Litzsinger School during her senior service at Westminster and decided to become an occupational therapist. She also credits reading the book, From Brokenness to Community, by Jean Vanier in her Worldviews class at Westminster for helping her to understand the transformative power of Christian community for people who have experienced abandonment and rejection due to disability. Through serving at Camp Hope for children with disabilities, Hayley experienced firsthand the truth that “value does not come from what you do but from knowledge of being a child of God.”

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Hayley recently returned from Quito, Ecuador, where she completed a six-month internship with Camp Hope, a foundation that serves individuals with mental, physical and economic disabilities through an educational center and orphanage. At Camp Hope, Hayley worked in a prevocational classroom with seven students ranging from ages 15 to 22. She assisted the teacher in helping the students learn tasks of daily living, such as how to make a bed, wash dishes, tie shoes and get dressed—tasks which allow the students to become more independent.  Hayley’s host mom in Ecuador, Maricela Miranda, has been involved with Camp Hope for the past 23 years and described Hayley as “a loving, compassionate person who naturally fit with the needs of Camp Hope and connected with children with special needs.”

Currently in her senior year at Wheaton College, Hayley is pursuing a degree in Applied Health Science with a certificate in Human Needs and Global Resources. After graduating from Wheaton she plans to take a gap year before continuing her education in occupational therapy.