Tong Lee

Tong Lee came to the United States at age 21 with no English language skills and no formal education, yet a strong sense of responsibility to take care of himself and his family. A decade later he is a dynamic outreach social worker making the way smoother for those who are traveling a like path with language and cultural challenges.

The youngest of seven children and first in his family to graduate college, Tong’s attentive determination is now turned toward helping Hmong refugee families navigate systems to succeed in America – and building bridges by coordinating help among community members and other agencies and service providers with whom he has developed strong working relationships. Tong’s greatest passion is for strengthening families through citizenship. The transition from lawful permanent resident to naturalized citizen is a dream within reach thanks to creative tools that now bring language and constitutional concepts into focus for eager parents. Like Tong, these parents know that citizenship brings opportunities as well as responsibilities, setting the stage for stronger families both economically and socially.