Senior serves for the community in and out of school

After having a support group provide plentiful help when arriving to the U.S., refugee Ring Te gives back to others


Lily Berggoetz

Te works with his “family” to find the steps to solve a problem in calculus. The class refers to their table groups as a “family.” According to Iang, Te always has a desire to help others.

Lily Berggoetz, Reporter

Monday through Saturday, one would find senior Ring Te working, volunteering or leading a meeting for a school event or club. Sunday is the only day he has to rest, and he is okay with that.

Te is currently the Vice President for Key Club and Green Earth Society, the senior class Secretary, a National Honor Society member and a yearbook staffer. He has been involved with International Club, Track and Field and is a PEERS Project leader. PEERS Project is a week long curriculum offered to middle schoolers to help understand the impact their decisions have on the future.

When Te is not busy with the numerous school clubs and organizations he is involved in, he volunteers at Second Helpings, an organization that helps to end the hunger problem in the community.

Te says he has a passion to be involved in the community and help those in need. He credits his family for his desire to be heavily involved throughout the community.

“I personally love to be involved in the community because my family relied on services when we first arrived in the U.S.,” Te said in an email to The Journal. “I love doing things to make people happy, and I really enjoy impacting someone’s life in a good way.”

Te and his family came to the U.S. eight years ago from Burma. Te says that his family is a factor of why he believes it is important to be involved.

“My parents (don’t) speak enough English to get stuff done. Because of this, I would help them translate with everything. Going to different branches to pay bills or dealing with my siblings’ school needs,” Te said. “Along the way, I met many parents who also faced the same problems, so I helped them out. I would help those who needed.”

According to Te, he is also involved with many clubs and organizations because he wants to set an example for future students as well as his siblings.

“As a second oldest children in the family, what I do will reflect how my siblings view their participation in activities,” Te said.

According to Te, being involved with so many activities, clubs and organizations can be hard to handle. Te says that time management, sacrifice and commitment are important factors in being able to commit to everything he is involved with.

“I usually don’t have (a) break until Sunday. I cut free time to get stuff like service/club events done,” Te said. “Giving my time is more important than wasting my time on things that won’t matter in the future.”

Throughout high school, Te has looked up to his friend, senior Grace Iang. According to Te, he looks up to her because she understands that it is important to help others and to set an example for those not involved.

“He said that I motivate him because he looks up to me by what I do. Like how I’m involved in school with clubs,” Iang said. “He saw the outcomes, how I made new friends (and) how I’m close with the teachers. He just really thought that was cool.”

Te said he was clueless about all of the opportunities the school offered when he first entered high school.

“I had to find my voice through participation,” Te said. “I knew I always wanted to do something to help people. By the time I was a sophomore, I knew how important it was to be involved in activities and how important it is to actually do something to impact our community.”

According to Iang, Te is shy and quiet, so him getting involved with different extracurricular activities is a big step.  

“He tries super hard,” Iang said. “He is willing to face new challenges and try new stuff. He is just a great student and friend in general.”