Dobson’s mother had adopted Danielle, and when her mother passed
away last year, Danielle had to move out of her home, either
with another family member or as a ward of the state until she
was 18. Dobson decided to become Danielle’s guardian.
Dobson believes that her experience has taught them both that
they can take on anything they put their mind to: “Danny sees
that I make mistakes too, and I think that she learns that sometimes
we just have to push through things,” said Dobson.
“I feel I have the experience to help other teenagers who may
feel they have a hard time or just want to do better,” continued
Dobson, who also volunteers for the O‘ahu Church of Christ’s
teen ministry and works seasonally for the YWCA. “I want to
give them the faith, courage, and desire to use their talents
the best way that they possibly can.”
Dobson’s goal is distinctive: she hopes to start a program,
called the Teen Athlete’s Organization, that would assist teens
to obtain skills. “The program will reach teenagers who may
feel they don’t have the skills they need to excel in the sports
they want to play,” Dobson said. Aside from sports, the program
would encourage teens to do well academically, “this program
would also give them study hall programs, a better chance to
go to college,” said Dobson. The program would include a clinic
schedule, a camp, and a curriculum for the things teens will
learn while in the program. Her plan is ready to go and lacks
only a funding sponsor.
Dobson believes that the things we learn from sports can apply
to every day life. Playing sports means self- denial: “On the
court there are a lot of things that you may not want to do—pushing
yourself when you don’t feel like it,” she said, adding that
good athletes do what they have to do. The same is true of life:
“When you are down in school, with family, relationships, [sports]
teaches you to be strong … to have courage in life.”
Dobson believes sports teach discipline: mental, emotional,
and physical. “I have also learned how important it is to have
a schedule. Not that it should control your life, but having
one helps you be disciplined,” she said. “Anything is possible.
Whatever you put your mind to, you can do,” said Dobson.
Dobson hopes to bring her Teen Athlete’s Organization to students
at five different local high schools, hopefully working with
sports programs within schools. She is aware that it will take
working and learning from other people to fulfill her dream.
She also hopes to work for the teen ministry of her church and
incorporate her organization into its program. In addition to
these career goals, Dobson hopes to get married “and have at
least one child before I’m 30,” she said, laughing.
Dobson would like to teach teens who are athletes that there
is life outside of sports: “You need to make sure that your
priorities are set and straight, “ she said. “Family is important.”
The most important thing in life, she continued, is that “You
have a teachable heart. Seek out a good purpose in life aside
from sports,” said Dobson.
Dobson plans on graduating in December, 2003 and wants to play
on the HPU volleyball team next year.