Trip to East Timor opens Rocky girl's eyes to bigger picture
IT WAS a trip to East Timor that changed Charnelle Vea Vea's views on life.
Visiting an orphanage last year in the impoverished country opened her eyes to how different life can be for some.
"It was a different experience, it was great meeting the kids at one of the schools and the orphanage," the 17-year-old said.
Charnelle said the overseas trip made her feel like she should be more grateful, as she noticed how the kids in East Timor were always happy despite having little.
Her visit ignited a passion in Charnelle to help others and she's doing just that by becoming an entrant in the Lions Club of Yeppoon Tropical Pinefest Ambassador Quest.
Being an entrant has seen Charnelle raise money for charity, specifically, the Australian Pikinini Cane Cutters.
"They are a group of south sea islanders and are raising funds for the children of the Sama Sama Rainbow School in Port Villa, Vanuatu," Charnelle said.
The teenager said it'd be exciting to win, which would offer her plenty of opportunities in the region
"I haven't done something like this before and it'll get me out of my comfort zone," Charnelle said.
The former Emmaus College student is hoping her leadership skills will help her take out the title.
"Earlier this year I went to Rotary Youth Leadership Awards and you spend a few days learning about leadership skills, meeting new people and how to take on challenges," she said.
Charnelle is on a gap year at the moment before heading into a Bachelor of Law and Arts at CQUniversity next year.
PINEFEST AMBASSADOR QUEST
WHAT: The Yeppoon Lions' and Yeppoon Chemmart Pinefest Ambassador Gala Dinner and Ball.
WHEN: October 11 from 6:30pm
WHERE: Mercure Capricorn Resort.
TICKETS: $65 per person and available at Ray White Yeppoon's Office
The ticket includes a complimentary drink and finger food and a two-course buffet dinner