Volunteer Spotlight - Alan Fong
Every month we will feature a current student, teacher or alumni from CLIP to showcase on our blog. If you are interested in being featured, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who are you?
My name is Alan Fong - I have a seasonal wholesale/ distributing company selling ski and snowboard apparel. For the rest of the year I am also a Commercial real estate agent dealing in commercial leases and property managing. Due to my flexible schedule I am fortunate to spend as much time as I can with my son who is in 1st grade here at Meyerholz/CLIP, as well as his numerous activities. You may see me around campus here often because I am also a substitute teacher for the CUSD as I primarily sub for Meyerholz and occasionally for John Muir.
What volunteer role do you have in CLIP currently? What roles, if any, have you had in the past?
I am currently serving in my second of a two-year term as the 1st grade representative and my first year was a kindergarten representative on the CLIPCO board. This 2017-2018 I took on the role of chairing the Chinese New Year Parade for CLIP. This year I also took on coaching the Meyerholz 4th / 5th grade Flag Football team. Now that it is the basketball season, I am the Basketball Co-Head Coach for the Meyerholz 4th/5th grade basketball team as well.
From 1993 to 2015 , I was a Board of Trustee Member for 22 years at one of or the oldest school district in San Jose and Santa Clara County. As it was Indirectly a volunteer role, but rather a elected position. Last year, I also took on the role of a room parent for my son’s kindergarten class.
Why did you decide to volunteer in these roles?
As for being on the CLIPCO board I feel I could contribute from my years of experience as a trustee member. As understanding solvency of a school and/or any organization is vital to that strength of the particular program or school. I grew up in this area when the Asian American demography was below 5%, and I see myself as an advocate for sharing and educating about the Asian culture The kids get to learn more of the Asian culture and they have fun learning about it. Regarding the Chinese New Year Parade I have been involved indirectly for over 35 years as It is great to have an opportunity to keep such a wonderful and cultural tradition here at Meyerholz/ CLIP program. As for coaching this an important aspect of American society when I grew up l felt sports was an important facet of the educational process. Learning these skills can help be well rounded, such as working in a teamwork environment and showing some good leadership skills. Sharing that knowledge is fun, rewarding and motivating to pass that on to the next generation of kids.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
I am very passionate about kids. Volunteering is where I feel I can make an impact as it is gratifying to see the looks on kids faces as they learn and achieve success while they are learning . To see what they have accomplished is a very proud moment and that is what makes it enjoyable in volunteering.
Also, volunteering has definitely helped me to develop relationships with the faculty, staff and parents. It's also helped me to gain a better understanding of the role and workings of CLIP and CLIPCO. I am very happy and proud to be part of this community which is a very humbling experience.
As a parent, what do you like best about the CLIP program?
I really appreciate the opportunity that CLIP provides this community. As an American-Born Chinese I understand the importance of learning both cultures as well as your heritage culture. Notwithstanding the lottery of course, CLIP offers that to anyone that that wants to learn about the Chinese culture which not only teaches the speaking of Mandarin Chinese this is what makes this program unique and valued as I understand it, “much emulated." Knowing that it requires a good deal of time and effort, coming to realize the time and effort it takes for a unique program like ours to exist, really speaks of the old adage “that it really takes a village to raise a child." As we have a strong community, therefore I am so glad that I am part of that “village."
Do you have a favorite memory from volunteering?
Here’s a couple of amusing or interesting things I learned while either volunteering in class or helping out in class for rainy day indoor recess. I've learned several dances in English and and in Chinese. The 1st graders and Kinders taught me the dance Popsicle: We sing “My hands are high, my feet are low and this how we popsicle!“ The Chinese dance is a fun one called Little Apple by Chopsticks that reminds of a Chinese electric slide. The 2nd graders taught it to me. It was fun and really cute to see them dancing and teaching me.
What other roles do have at Meyerholz?
I am a substitute teacher for CUSD as I primarily substitute for Meyerholz in both the Neighborhood as well as some of the CLIP classes. From time to time I will also sub at John Muir due to its proximity to Meyerholz. This is impactful and extremely rewarding for me because I really get to know all of the kids of this community.
What advice or message do you have for current CLIP parents?
Since it is only my second year in the CLIP program I don’t feel I can give much advice but for this: get involved , ask questions, and volunteer if you can to keep this community going strong. It will help you to become a part of this “ Village”. Enjoy these years , if you blink an eye Father Time goes by fast and trying to recapture that is difficult if not impossible. “Live full with empty regrets”.