by KELLY GUISCH | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Handing Out Kindness

student_cahill_1Valentine Cahill-Arklay, almost 11 years old, has lived in Rancho Peñasquitos her entire life. Her parents moved to America from Australia in 2001. Valentine loves living in PQ because of the really fun waterslide she gets to use at the local YMCA, as well as the occasional sweet treat from community staple PQ Donuts. ”The neighbors on our street do fun events throughout the year,” she shared, “like an Easter egg hunt, a trolley ride through the Christmas lights on Christmas Card Lane, and a summer barbeque.” Valentine spends time with her siblings Josephine, Rory, and Leon. “They inspire me because they’re always there for me,” she shared. “They can be very cute and make me laugh.”

Valentine began homeschooling through Julian Charter School, and now attends the Julian Charter School San Diego Academy of Performing Arts (JCS SDAPA). While attending JCS, she came across an important realization. What started as a project for her school’s project week, has turned into a passion for Valentine. She created Care Kits, which are bags packed with necessities such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, razor, comb and wipes, moisturizer, shampoo and conditioner, as well as other items to make life easier, such as a notepad and pen, peanut butter, and other non-perishable food items. “What inspired me was that you can give homeless people money, but that money might not be used in the best way,” she said, “so I wanted to give them something instead of just money so it might help them more.”

“I hope it helps make their life easier and they know that people care.”

“We give Care Kits to homeless people we see as we drive around,” Valentine affirmed. The project is important to her because she loves to help others and enjoys seeing their reactions when they receive their Care Kit. “I hope it helps make their life easier and they know that people care,” said Valentine. When not helping others, Valentine is pursuing her passion for acting. Since taking an acting class at age seven, she’s developed a love for the art and wants to be a famous actress one day. She hopes to go to school in Australia at her top choice: National Institute of Dramatic Art. To keep well-rounded, Valentine is also a swimmer on the Rancho Peñasquitos Aquatic Club Swim Team.

Whatever the venture is, Valentine Cahill-Arklay will no doubt approach it with excitement and compassion.

Name: Valentine Cahill-Arklay (10 going on 11)
School: Julian Charter School San Diego Academy of Performing Arts
Grade: 6
Parents: Paul and Linda Cahill-Arklay
Siblings: Josephine (4), Rory (2), and Leon (2)
Favorite Spots in 92129: PQ Donuts and Vittorio’s