Couresty of Jonathan Wong
A Hammond native and businessman has been named the university’s 2020 Young Alumnus of the Year.
Jonathan Wong graduated from the university in 2003 after studying biological sciences and international business. After he graduated, he became co-founder of Cate Street Seafood Station in Hammond in 2004 and The Boston Restaurant in Amite in 2012. He is also a board member for the Southeastern Foundation.
Wong described how he felt to have been given this title from the university.
“I am humbled and grateful to receive this recognition,” expressed Wong. “I love to serve and lift others and have always believed the gift is in the giving.”
Wong thanked the people in his life for helping him get where he is today.
“Receiving this award is bigger than myself,” said Wong. “Top of mind are the people in my life: parents, wife, children, siblings, relatives, teachers, friends, community, team members, mentors who have given me the eyes to see, ears to understand and heart to view.”
Wong has helped with a number of events on campus, including Giving Day, Chef’s Evening, Mentorship and free community workouts with FitFam. He has also assisted with past Business Weeks and Young Entrepreneurs Academy programs, appearing as a guest speaker for both events. He also hosted the university’s international student dinner in November 2019, where he spoke on transparency, volunteering in the community and connection.
Wong explained another way he has reached out to help the university and its students.
“I collaborated with Sysco Foods and donated over $3000 in food to the SLU Food Pantry, whose mission is to provide perishable and non-perishable items to any active Southeastern student, faculty or staff member,” said Wong.
After graduating in 2003, Wong has maintained connection with the university through his businesses and through various events on campus throughout the years.
The alumnus explained why it is important for him to keep giving back to the campus community.
“Keep the river flowing,” said Wong. “One of the great opportunities in Hammond, Louisiana is Southeastern Louisiana University and how it affects our economy and community. From attending Southeastern Lab School through Southeastern Louisiana University, I’ve witnessed the challenges of the youth and lack of mentorship. My hope is for all to feel wanted and know that each person matters.”
Wong strives to find opportunities every day to help make somebody else’s life better.
“I have always picked up on words of encouragement,” shared Wong. “These words have turned into a set of beliefs that keep me growing and expanding into my purpose, that each day is an opportunity to make someone’s day better.”
Wong will be officially recognized for the title at the Alumni Awards Evening during Homecoming Week in the fall.