Meet Debbie! RASKC is honored to present Debbie Noune with Exceptional Youth recognition. She began volunteering for RASKC in 2017 on the Cat Meet & Greet Team and has contributed almost 200 hours so far. We can count on Debbie to bring cheerfulness, positive energy, and artistic flair to her shifts.

“I have seven pets- two dogs, three cats, a rat, and a Quaker parrot. I adopted my parrot and two of my cats from RASKC, including Max (pictured with me), plus two other rats who have since passed away. All of my pets are extremely sweet and playful, except for two of them- my very shy parrot and my senior cat, who is content to just cuddle and sleep next to me.

“I’m 20 years old, have lived in Federal Way almost my entire life, and I’m a fulltime freelance artist and animator. My father was an artist for 27 years. He helped guide me as an artist when I was very young. I hope to work on my own graphic novels in the future.

“While I can be a very shy, reserved, and giving person, I won’t ever let myself be a pushover. I practice self-respect and recommend that others do so too. The most important thing to me is honesty and being true to myself. I’m a proud Asian American. I grew up with Cambodian culture and traditions, but I also have family who are Chinese, Burmese, and Dai. I was born in Renton. Washington is my home and will always be my favorite place to be.

“While I am not perfectly fluent in Khmer, the language in Cambodia, I know enough of it and assisted a Khmer family once when volunteering at RASKC. I love the people involved with RASKC volunteering- the other volunteers, coordinators, the techs, and officers. Everyone is so delightful to be around. They have such an unwavering passion for helping care for the animals. Of course, I love helping the animals too.

“When I graduated from high school, I received the community-service award, recognizing all the hours I dedicated to the shelter.”

Fun fact: “I prefer reading graphic novels. My current favorite series is Mercy by Mirka Andolfo. Coincidentally, Mercy takes place in Washington state during the late nineteenth century.