Emari Hunn is a true inspiration. From her difficult childhood, to life as a military spouse, she has learned that giving back to your community is one of the most important things you can do. Now, she is home, in Hawaii fulfilling her dream of working for PenFed.
Emari Hunn: Home Again
I was born in Japan and I grew up in Tokyo, in the middle of Tokyo. I actually went through a little bit of a tough upbringing. I am a child of divorce. I first lived with my Dad. So I kind of had to fend for myself, finding food and stuff like that. And there was no adult mentor or anybody who cared, any adult who cared wasn’t there for me.
At 13 my mom didn’t know exactly what to do with me, I didn’t grow up with her, and so, she decided to bring me to Hawaii. It was a little rough you know, new country, new language, and I was going to school. And, but I learned to survive.
I never thought that I would leave Hawaii in the first place. However, when I graduated college and started working and I knew that I needed to support myself and I found that I couldn’t. And I said, “Boss I’m leaving. I’m going to find new life somewhere else where I can support myself.” And I did! I can’t believe I did that. But, when you can’t pay your own bills, you do what you’ve got to do.
Then, the journey began because I met my husband in California. He was in the Army. So, we moved up and down the coast of California first. But the next move was to Virginia. And then, the move after that was New Mexico. The biggest thing that I learned is to make my village. You know? Connect with my communities.
The reason why I joined Big Brothers Big Sisters is because of my upbringing. I’ve been a Big for my Little, her name is Angie. She’s a junior- she will be a junior in high school. And four years now I have been her Big and it has been such a blessing.
You know, when you serve in a community, more than you give you receive so much blessing back. I never thought that I could move back home to Hawaii. But then my husband, he reminded me. He’s like, “Why can’t we live here?”
And when I found PenFed and I read more about it, this is, you know, military, and the position is in Hawaii! You know? Is this for me? Is this for real? I’m home. PenFed brought me home.