This column serves as a spotlight, highlighting the everyday people who work and live in Callaway County. The Fulton Sun takes a moment with someone who is not usually featured in the news but is just as instrumental in making our community the strong and beautiful place we all know and love.
Deborah Young was out enjoying a picnic lunch Tuesday at Memorial Park with her daughter and grandsons. She has three children and two grandsons. Young has lived in Fulton for more than a decade. Because her parents were missionaries, Young was born and raised in Brazil. She moved back to the United States to attend school in Ohio. Young works as a flight attendant.
Q: What was your first job?
I was a teacher. I certified early childhood through 12th grade. I substitute every once in a while, but now I'm a flight attendant.
Q: Who inspires you most?
Jesus Christ. That was my entire upbringing and I still stay very active in church work.
Q: What have you done in life that was most fulfilling?
Well, I have to say my children, my family. Next to that — after college, my children were born when we were in Brazil. We went back down there and established an orphanage for children off the street and ran that for a couple years. It's really rewarding to know that we were instrumental in the lives of those children and setting them up for successful futures. We were able to provide housing, education and daily needs and teach them English while they lived with us and that brought them so much success in the world. They're all very successful adults. Next to my family — those children.
(Young and her family were planning on traveling to Brazil to visit everyone this fall, but that trip has been postponed due to COVID-19.)
Q: What is something you are proud of?
I'm proud of my children. So far, I've got some good children. And I'm proud of my grandchildren. Having grown up outside of the country in a really underprivileged background as far as social and material things, you know, I own a home, I own a vehicle, I have a good education and a good job. In great part, I've been blessed by God, but the greatest blessing I think is that I had the opportunity to live in America. This is the only country in the world that I've ever been in that offers so much opportunity. I'm proud to be a child of God and a red-blooded American.
Q: What profession would you like to attempt?
I wanted to be a brain surgeon when I was a child. I wanted to be a brain surgeon or a tropical disease specialist.
Q: What profession would you not like to do?
When I first started my education career, one of my majors was in voice performance, and I thought I wanted to be a voice instructor. I tried it. I do not want that. I did not like that job.
Q: What is something no one knows about you?
Nobody ever knows I speak Portuguese. They don't know I'm trilingual — I speak Portuguese, English and Spanish.
Q: What is your favorite thing about Callaway County?
There are so many great things about Callaway County. I like the values that I see in Callaway County quite a bit. It's one of the main things that keeps me here and has convinced me to put down roots here. I don't have roots anywhere really. I used to think I was going to move away from here when my children were grown and everything, but the more I travel and the more I see of the lack of values everywhere else I go, the more I think I'm going to stay in Callaway County.