COMMUNITY SERVICE: Alan Ong has been active in the Queens community for years, serving as the PTA president for P.S. 173 before being appointed by Borough President Helen Marshall to the District 26 Community Education Council.
“Even though I stepped down as PTA president, now I can try to effect things on a district level,” said Ong, who also serves on the board of directors for the Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association.
Ong said that he was very active in the PTA, doing a lot of outreach and safety awareness work for parents and students alike.
At the head of the Homeowners Civic Association, Ong said he has worked hard to “maintain the quality of life within the neighborhood, like [fixing] potholes in the street. We also work with the local precinct to make sure everything is safe for the residents.”
BACKGROUND: Ong was born in Manhattan and spent his early years in Chinatown.
“I moved to Queens when I was a teen and have been living here ever since,” he said.
He attended the City College of New York and now lives in Fresh Meadows.
FAVORITE MEMORY: Ong recalls his time with the P.S. 173 PTA as one of his best memories.
“The reaction of the parents was very rewarding,” he said. “A lot of us work, and sometimes we don’t spend as much time with our children as we should. My aim was to get parents involved.”
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “The greatest obstacle I face is getting people to speak up,” Ong explained. “It’s difficult to tackle issues when you don’t know what they are. I have to inspire people to step up and tell us what’s going on.”
INSPIRATION: “One of the main reasons why I do this is because I’m Americanborn Chinese, and in the community of Chinese culture, people don’t step up and help others as much. I do this community work because I feel there’s a need for that. Hopefully what I’m doing will help others to do the same.”