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Native New Yorker Bonnie Kong has lived in Coney Island since she was ten. In 2000, her parents, who had emigrated from China, bought a single family home as first-time home buyers and moved their family of five from an apartment on the Lower East Side. Kong recalls being among the first Chinese Americans in her new neighborhood, and studying at Mark Twain and Brooklyn Tech.
After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in economics and being offered a job at JP Morgan Chase, Kong decided to return to Coney Island to live. “I can help out my family financially and I can help out the community,” she says. As a volunteer with local not-for-profit Urban Neighborhood Services, Kong uses her analytical skills and research data to help with program initiatives. She talks about her interest in economic development, how it benefits the citizens of Coney Island, and her hopes for a healthy future for her community.
With a friend, Matt Huang, she has researched and created Asian American 88, a website featuring a curated list of successful role models in diverse fields.