To say Mississauga teen, Duke Bang, makes time to volunteer would be vastly understating his efforts.
In Ontario, high school students must log 40 hours of community service in order to receive their diploma. At the age of 17, Duke has racked up enough hours to graduate more than 80 times.
Since middle school, he has volunteered more than 3,260 hours, mainly with the East Faith Presbyterian church, teaching Korean to second-generation children and running activities with First Nation groups.
The majority of those hours came from First Nations mission trips he’s been taking, while giving up every summer vacation and winter break, since he was in Grade 6.
“My objective for volunteering wasn’t to complete my (high school) hours,” he said. “I volunteer because I enjoy doing the things I do and I know it helps not only others but myself in improving as a person and learning many things. My volunteering experiences, like helping out at a soup kitchen in Toronto or going on Native mission trips, have allowed me to open my eyes and see the people around me who have less.
“I have worked with people, from kids all the way to the seniors in the community, through my volunteering experiences and being able to interact with the different generations and age groups is really amazing.
“The appeal for me in volunteering is that I get to help others and, at the same time, make myself a better person.”
Duke graduated, this summer, from Clarkson Secondary School, where he also served as an executive member of the student council. This fall, he will be heading for the University of Toronto St. George campus to study life sciences.
“I’m hoping to continue my studies in the medical field and, one day, be able to use my skills to help out in the First Nations missions or any missions in general,” he said.
His hobbies include music and sports.
Photo: Duke Bang, seen here with Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, was recently recognized for his volunteering efforts at the 2018 Civic Recognition evening, honouring volunteers throughout the city.