“My experience with food insecurity and poverty sparked my interest in hunger relief and food banks.”

Hello, everyone! My name is Derrick Ngo, and I am a current senior at the Energy Institute High School in HISD. I have volunteered with the Houston Food Bank for two years as a Student Hero, a program that allows high school students to receive training and experience while taking a leadership role in projects. Currently, as the co-director of the Student Heroes, I help manage the logistics of the program: I update hours, maintain communication, and plan Student Hero events. For college, I am currently choosing between Columbia University, Princeton University, and Harvard University.

My experience with food insecurity and poverty sparked my interest in hunger relief and food banks. My consistent inability to access nutritional food as a child, in addition to the incessant feeling of hunger, motivated me to work with food insecurity. As a high school sophomore, I learned about the Houston Food Bank during a field trip. I didn’t realize how simple it was to volunteer and support Houston’s local community—I just had to sign up for a shift online and show up!

For me, volunteering at the Houston Food Bank creates a feeling of personal satisfaction. I absolutely love speaking with other volunteers, learning about the different project areas from the volunteer service representatives, and understanding the impact the Houston Food Bank creates on Houston’s community. The Houston Food Bank is truly an amazing place to be!

Receiving acceptance letters from the Ivy League amazes me. I never imagined I would get into my dream schools. I appreciate every single person who has supported me through this journey, and I realize I am very fortunate to receive admission from such amazing schools. In college, I would like to study and develop solutions to the regional causes of food insecurity throughout the United States. I would like to join clubs and organizations to study the transportation, production, and logistics of food production in the United States. My experience in the Student Heroes Program only served as the beginning of a long journey—I want to ensure that my fellow citizens have access to nutritional food and clean water.