Congratulations to AARP’s 2017 AAPI Heroes!

Congratulations to AARP’s 2017 AAPI Heroes!


AARP is proud to announce the winners of its 2nd Asian American and Pacific Islander Community Hero Awards that were created to acknowledge the hard-working staff and volunteers of non-profit organizations serving AAPIs age 50-plus.

We received 61 nominations from around the country including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and Washington, DC.

The stellar submissions included executive directors, staff, and volunteers who work in healthcare, housing, social services, education, and media. Ten finalists were selected by AARP; the winners were chosen by AARP AAPI Facebook visitors.

These three AARP Asian American and Pacific Islander Community Hero Award winners and their organizations will each receive a $1,000 cash prize:

Dilafroz Nargis Ahmed
Desi Senior Center Director
India Home
Glen Oaks, N.Y.

Dilafroz Nargis Ahmed has helped new immigrants in the Bangladeshi community in Queens, New York for three decades. At Desi senior center India Home, Ahmed works to improve the quality of life of vulnerable South Asian seniors in a culturally appropriate environment. Since 2014, Ahmed has strived to make India Home a comfortable place for immigrant seniors to come together, adjust to living in a new country, and build community. Ahmed also helps Bangladeshi older adults access services and find jobs.

(Photo by Jacques-Jean Tiziou/www.jjtiziou.net)

Shongchai Hang
Outreach Worker
South East Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition
Philadelphia

Shongchai Hang has been dedicated to serving Southeast Asian refugee and immigrant elders for more than 30 years. For the past 11 years, Hang has worked as SEAMAAC’s Lao Outreach Worker to help diverse low-income communities in Philadelphia. At weekly Elders Gatherings, he plays an integral role in building bridges between elders from diverse communities. He helps community members to see their own leadership potential, by recruiting and supporting Lao elders to serve on SEAMAAC’s Elders Council. Hang also helps seniors apply for social services and navigate the health care system. Hang’s ability to speak Lao, Hmong, Thai, and English allows him to serve a diverse groups of seniors.

Linda Mayo
Founder and President Emeritus
Pan-American Concerned Citizens Action League (PACCAL)
Jersey City, N.J.

Linda Mayo has served the local Filipino & Asian American community for more than 30 years. In 1992, Mayo found PACCAL, the first organization in Jersey City to address the health and human service needs of Filipinos and other Asians with a focus on senior citizen and veterans programs. It holds the distinction of being the only Asian Provider Agency recognized by the Hudson County Dept. of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office on Aging. PACCAL is a multi-service organization that organizes social and recreational activities for seniors, assists seniors and veterans apply successfully for affordable housing, coordinates citizenship and voter registrations, helps victims of domestic violence, and holds education, art and cultural workshops.

“Congratulations to Dilafroz, Shongchai, Sharon, and Linda for their exemplary contributions and dedication to our seniors,” said Daphne Kwok, AARP Vice President of Multicultural Leadership, Asian American and Pacific Islander Audience Strategy. “They are unsung heroes who every day are improving the lives of seniors and their families. They devote their time, talents, and passion to making a difference not only to the elders and their families but to the greater community. AARP commends all of our 2017 Heroes and all of those who were nominated for inspiring each and every one of us.”

Congratulations once again to our 2017 AAPI Heroes, and to their organizations!



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Vote for the 2017 AARP AAPI Hero Awards!

Vote for the 2017 AARP AAPI Hero Awards!


Congratulations to the Finalists in AARP’s 2nd Annual AAPI Hero Awards Contest! We wanted to hear about the hard-working staff and volunteers who bring their passion and energy to non-profit organizations that serve AAPIs who are 50-plus. We were looking for the people who are the heart and soul of their organizations, not just the founders, CEOs and executive directors.

We received 61 nominations, and the judges were impressed by every nominee. After much deliberation, we chose 10 outstanding finalists and have posted them on a Facebook photo gallery, where YOU can vote and decide on our winners.

We will award three Heroes from these finalists with $1,000 for them and another $1,000 for each of their non-profit organizations!

Here’s how it works: You’ll be able to cast your vote for your favorite finalist. Read their biographies and the descriptions of their non-profit organizations. And then vote with your “Likes,” “Shares” and “Comments” for the Finalists you think deserve to be named our three Heroes.

Each Like will count as one point, each Share will count as two, and Comments will count for three points.

If you know people who are not on Facebook who want to cast a vote, they can email gasakawa@aarp.org to vote for their favorite Hero. (NOTE: Each email vote will only be counted once, and please do not vote both on Facebook and with an email.)

Deadline for voting is Friday, July 14, 11:59 pm ET. The finalists with the top three scores will be named Heroes.

This year’s AAPI Hero Finalists and their organizations are: Dilafroz Nargis Ahmed, India Home, Inc., Glen Oaks, NY; Adrienne Dillard, Kula no na Po’e Hawaii, Honolulu, HI; Shongchai Hang, South East Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition, Inc., Philadelphia, PA; Sharon Hartz, Korean American Association of Greater Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA; Hyeyoung Kim, Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Atlanta, GA;
Linda Mayo, Pan-American Concerned Citizens Action League Inc. (PACCAL), Jersey City, NJ; Jane Ka’alakahikina Pang, Pacific Islander Health Partnership, Santa Ana, CA; Nor-Oghan Mimi Saito, Asian Pacific Development Center, Aurora, CO; Tracy Wu, Chinese Community Center, Houston, TX; and Dale Yamada, Asian Community Center of Sacramento Valley, Sacramento, CA.

You can read each finalist’s biographies and learn about their organizations on the Facebook photo gallery. Congratulations and good luck to them all!



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