Two Chinese women to represent BCNC in Boston Marathon
By Ling-Mei Wong
Two Chinese American women plan to give back to the community by running in the 117th Boston Marathon. On April 15, Julia Kuo and Emily Weng will run 26.6 miles to raise money for the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center.
This is the second year BCNC has participated in the Boston Marathon. Kuo and Weng will raise $16,000 together to benefit BCNC’s services for immigrant children and families.
Weng, 20, is a sophomore studying philosophy at Boston College. She came to Boston when she was 10 from Taishan, Guangdong, and participated in BCNC English classes with her late father, Zhi Qin Weng. Her BCNC mentor and godfather Arthur Grupee encouraged her to run in the marathon.
“I love the community and support here,” Weng said. “I run in honor of my father, who worked at BCNC. I’m proud to appreciate fathers who support their families.”
Kuo, 25, is an associate at Spectrum Equity, a private equity firm, who grew up in Houston. She moved to Boston in August 2011 and found a warm welcome at BCNC. She now is the chair of the Bamboo Circle, BCNC’s young professionals network.
“I never found a similar organization of scale in Texas or New York,” Kuo said. “I found a lot of friends active in the Chinese community.”
Both Kuo and Weng are first-time marathon runners. Kuo has completed half marathons in Austin and New York. The Boston Marathon fulfills her dream of completing a marathon before she turns 30. As the marathon is the same month as her birthday, Kuo considers it a birthday gift.
Weng enjoys jogging, volleyball and biking, having successfully biked 20 miles from Boston College to Medford. The marathon starts a day before her 10-year anniversary of moving to America.
Fundraising is underway for the two runners. Kuo plans to raise $6,000 and is halfway to her goal. Weng hopes to raise $10,000 through Facebook, emails and a promotional video she will post online.
Weng looks forward to crossing the finishing line. “After the race ends at Copley, I’m going to run to Chinatown for food,” she smiled.
This post is also available in: Chinese