Vince Wong – Week 24: 30-in-30 Honoree

For this week’s 30-in-30 honoree, we would like to congratulate Vince Wong, graduate of Leadership L.A. 2014 and Director of Policy and Civic Engagement for Michelson Found Animals Foundation. October 4th is World Animal Day and we are proud to have Vince as an alumni and champion who advocates for policy and social change for a vulnerable and voiceless population. Continue reading to learn first-hand about Vince’s leadership and other philanthropic endeavors.

I am a proud lifelong Angeleno, and grew up in a household that fostered my passion for civic engagement and service to my community. Partaking in youth organizations like the Junior State of America, whose motto is “democracy is not a spectator sport”, stoked the fire for who I am today, and that passion continues to grow with every passing day.

I am privileged to be able to serve in a role within philanthropy that advances policy and social change for one of most vulnerable and voiceless populations – companion animals. At the Michelson Found Animals Foundation, we focus on a few powerful levers to save pets and enrich lives, because there should be no barrier for anyone to have the love and comfort of a pet. October 4 is World Animal Day, so to be recognized at this time is particularly meaningful in raising awareness for animals across the planet.

Through programs like the Leadership L.A. fellowship, I’ve become a better listener and learner, a stronger communicator and ally, and developed a better understanding of the issues which affect us all – not just social and not just economic, but all the issues that affect our society – healthcare, housing, immigration, environmental, LGBTQ issues, education, civil rights and all of the intersections which create the fabric of which we are all a part. And through it all, my personal definition of leadership has evolved.

For me, leadership is choosing to build coalitions with unlikely allies and work together to overcome challenges. Leadership is making the hard choices for the betterment of all when no one else will. Leadership is hearing the word “impossible” and making something possible of it. Leadership is speaking up on behalf of those who cannot do so for themselves.

My heartfelt appreciation to the Southern California Leadership Network for helping cultivate my leadership and for this tremendous honor of being named one of SCLN’s 30-in-30 alumni leaders.