When she was 15 years old Yesenia Sanchez Pina had a calling to become a lector.
“After my confirmation, I had that feeling I wanted to read at Mass, but I never had the guts to start reading. I never had the courage to actually sign up,” she said.
By the time she entered campus ministry at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, the De Queen native knew she couldn’t sit on the sidelines any longer.
“I have to start somewhere. I have to start getting to know people. My life is always going to be miserable if I am alone and not doing anything.”
The 26-year-old was tapped to be involved in English-language and Spanish-language Bible studies with CCM as well as serving as a First Communion teacher at St. Joseph Church. When she returned to De Queen in 2014 after earning her accounting degree, she was immediately recruited to use her financial skills as a member of the parish finance council.
“Right now I am the youngest one there,” she said.
In January 2015 she responded to a plea for confirmation teachers.
“I saw the need so I committed,” she said.
During the day Sanchez works as a bookkeeper at a Christian school in De Queen. The evenings and weekends she devotes to parish work and her family.
“My mother is here alone. She has been a single mother for several years. I wanted to be here to help out at the house. I got the opportunity to move back home and I took it,” she said.
• What celebrity would you like to meet and why?
“I would have loved to have met Pope John Paul II. My family has always been a fan of his and all his work. It is incredible what he did.”
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