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Jefferson Awards: Alameda Honor Student Excels At Serving Others

ALAMEDA (CBS 5) - While many teenagers would rather spend their free time at the movies, playing video games or hanging out with friends, an Alameda teen spends every Sunday afternoon serving others.

At just 15-years-old, Brian Wong is an honor student with a 4.8 GPA, a Chemistry ace, an Abacus champ and a varsity tennis player. Wong has many note-worthy accomplishments, but he is especially proud to be called a volunteer.

"Sunday afternoons are a time when I can see my senior friends and really interact with them," Wong said.

He has worked hard to make Sundays special at Water's Edge Lodge, a senior assisted-living center near his Alameda home. Since 2009 the Alameda High School junior has played the piano and lead sing-alongs for seniors like 91-year-old Ella Parker.

"He plays our kind of music from our years- 60s, 70s," Parker said. "He also fundraises for the local food bank."

Wong raised $10,000 for CBS 5's Food for Bay Area Families holiday food drive, which was more money than even he imagined. The money came from friends, family and local businesses. A year ago, Wong raised enough to buy 20,000 pounds of food for the Alameda Food Bank.

To urge others to give, Wong even formed a community service club at school where he trains his 13-year-old brothers Spencer and Justin to care for his volunteer projects so they are ready when Wong heads off to college.

Their mother said serving together brings family harmony. "It's really nice not only to see the seniors having fun. While they sing, we as a family get a tighter bond," Wong's mother said.

"I've had everything I want since I was a child," said Wong. "So I just want to give back a little of what I have gotten."

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