Hartford Teen Gets Soccer Friends Involved In Community

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Joseph Chung, 17, wanted to give back to the community because of how much it has given him.

A senior year at Achievement First Hartford Academy, Chung has many interests, ranging from soccer to volunteer work. So when he had the chance, he combined them.

Kaitlyn Finchler

Last November, Chung and a few of his friends on the soccer team chipped in a combined $320, went to the local supermarket and bought as many canned goods as they could. Then they delivered them to a church near Chung’s house, asking that the food be donated to a Hartford soup kitchen.

Chung said he organized the canned goods event because the community he lives in has given him invaluable life experiences.

He said he “likes helping people, but only if they deserve it.”

Chung has been playing soccer for almost five years and has coached his neighbors and their kids in the sport.

“If I’m not inside,” Chung said. “I’ll probably be playing soccer.”

One day when he was younger, Chung asked his dad’s friend, who owns a store that fixes electronics, to teach him how to fix computers. Now, the young man fixes computers in his neighborhood for a small cost.

In addition to being involved in his community, Chung has his own blog made of up mostly satirical writing.

Politically, he said, he considers himself an independent, and describes his blog as “political cartoons in writing.”

Chung’s plan for now is to double major in college in political science and psychology, and he is thinking about pursuing a career in political science.

Kaitlyn Finchler is a student at Rutherford B. Hayes High School in Delaware, Ohio.