Justin Ku – Vice President of National Honor Society

West Bloomfield High School, West Bloomfield, MI

One of the few things that you know will never change is your heritage. For these reasons, it is important for me to embrace my Taiwanese heritage and be proud of it.

Who are you?

I am a student in my senior year at West Bloomfield High School. I am looking forward to college next year but I try to stay focused on the present.  I have two loving parents and a little brother. My dad came from Malaysia, but his dad came from China. My mom came from Taiwan, but her dad came from China. That makes me a second generation Taiwanese/Malaysian American with Chinese ancestry. I enjoy playing all sports, especially soccer. I am always listening to music. I listen to all types of music as long as it’s not country. I love to learn about other people and their distinct cultures and ethnicities. I am constantly changing and the things around me are constantly changing. I’m trying to keep up with the ever-changing society. I’m trying to figure out who I am too.

Tell us about your organization / project, your role, and its impact?

National Honor Society at West Bloomfield High School is a club that admits students that are academically sound, active outside of school and are willing to help the community. As a part of National Honor Society, each student must maintain a high GPA and do 15 hours of community service. Our goal is to set up functions like fundraisers and community service opportunities to donate to charities and help our community.

As Vice President, my role is to work together with the President and the rest of the executive board to set up the functions and admit students that are qualified to be a part of NHS. Direction from the executive board is necessary for our club to run successfully. Part of my role is to make sure everything is run smoothly through good communication and leadership.

Where do you find your inspiration and motivation as a student leader?

My inspiration and motivation as a student leader came from my experiences as a student at West Bloomfield High School and from my experiences at the Taiwanese American Foundation (TAF).

My own experiences have taught me that most people will not actively seek to help the community and need some sort of push and reason for serving the community. I wanted to be a part of the push to motivate my fellow students to help our community.

My experiences at Taiwanese American Foundation have taught me a lot throughout the years that I have attended the summer conference. I have been taught the skills necessary to make an impact on my community. I have learned about leadership, communication, identity, ethics & values and more important life skills. I felt motivated to apply the life skills that I learned from TAF.

Why are you proud to be of Taiwanese heritage?

I am a second generation Taiwanese/Malaysian American. Being of Taiwanese heritage has been very influential in my life because that is half of my background. My mom’s side of the family all live in Taiwan. Visiting Taiwan allows me to learn more about myself and my background. I visit Taiwan only once every few years but every time I do go back, I always feel at home.
Each person has his/her own unique background and learning about it is essential if you ever want to achieve self-understanding. One of the few things that you know will never change is your heritage. For these reasons, it is important for me to embrace my Taiwanese heritage and be proud of it.

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