COMMUNITY SERVICE: Ted Teng is prone to say “in any way you can” when talking about giving back to the community.
Teng, who immigrated from Taiwan to New York City at age 2, has been the chair of the Youth Services Committee of Community Board 11 for the past three years and state committeeman of the 25th Assembly District since last September.
One of the CB 11 initiatives closest to Teng’s heart is the fight to keep the Beacon Program in Bayside alive. The program, which offers free after-school and summer school services to more than 700 students, is currently under threat of being shut down.
Teng’s favorite part of the job is advocacy for the community’s children and his “conversations with individuals who find themselves to be voiceless.”
“I love the fact that I can give a voice to these people,” he said.
BACKGROUND: A volunteer emergency medical technician, or EMT, for years since his college days at Stony Brook University, Teng has been known to pull over while driving to assist car accident victims. His experiences as an EMT first taught him the value of giving back.
“From there I learned the importance of helping the community in any way I can,” he said.
Outside of his volunteer work, Teng is the founder of Advanced Teaching Initiative, an after-school academic center that also runs weekend programs and summer camps.
FAVORITE MEMORY: Looking back on his most memorable moment working with the community board, Teng spoke of a letter by a Beacon Program participant. She wrote about what the program meant to her.
“The thing that spoke with me was the program’s not just about academics,” he said. “It’s social skills, arts and crafts. It really gives children a chance to learn new things.”
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Teng said one of the biggest challenges facing the board is “getting the public to know the problems we have.” He said he hopes the future board will work on stronger outreach to “bring more voice and more press involvement.”
INSPIRATION: Teng said his two young children inspire him more than anything else.
“A lot of it is the ability to show them that especially in this area where I grew up, [it’s important to] go back to your roots and give back to it,” he said. “You do what you can. If you’re in the position to help, you should help. I was very fortunate. I was put in a very fortunate position to make a difference.”
-BY ROSA KIM
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