Wai Lone (Jonathan) Ho
2019 Outstanding and Civic Engagement Award Winner
Jonathan's passion for service sparked while he was serving as an Officer in the Singapore Armed Forces, prior to entering college. His duties led him to work with servicemen who came from broken, underprivileged families. This experience motivated him to support the underserved community and bridge the gap between people of diverse backgrounds. With a growing interest in medicine, he began volunteering at the Knights Landing One Health Center to provide free medical services to the migrant farming community of Knights Landing. He cherished his opportunity to work alongside committed volunteers from the clinic and was inspired by the life stories of the community.
Jonathan also began working alongside Empower Yolo ASSETs, a non-profit, to mentor the youth through a Youth Enrichment Program. He also encouraged the youth to organize community fundraisers for youth events and build stronger relationships with the community. Additionally, he assisted parents and youth in applying for colleges, many of whom will be first-generation college students.
In 2017, with inspiration drawn from the youth, Jonathan worked with community leaders from Empower Yolo, Associate Professor Natalia Deeb-Sossa of the Chicana/o Studies department, Ph.D. student Jacklyn Kelty, and a team of dedicated volunteers to design and build the Knights Landing Community Garden. Through a partnership with the Knights Landing Methodist Church, his team held a series of design workshops with residents to gather feedback on their preferences and successfully built a pilot garden at the Methodist Church. Jonathan and his team raised more funding through grants and community donations to expand the community garden. His team also partnered with the UC Davis Student Farm and the Hanna & Herbert Bauer Memorial Community Garden. In 2019, Jonathan was awarded the $15,000 Donald A. Strauss Scholarship Public Service Scholarship to further this project. The scholarship was established as a memorial to the late Don Strauss of Newport Beach, who had a life-long commitment to public service and education.
Jonathan's future goal is to foster greater community collaboration in Knights Landing through the Knights Landing Community Garden. He also intends to establish more extracurricular opportunities for the youth of Knights Landing in the future. He is extremely grateful to all the organizations and people who have dedicated their time and efforts to make a difference in their communities.
Jonathan enjoys hiking, exercising, and travelling the world to indulge in the cuisines of different cultures. He also shares a passion for music; he is a singer for the UC Davis mariachi ensemble, Mariachi Cielito Lindo.