By Ling-Mei Wong
The Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center held its annual meeting on June 12 at its 38 Ash Street headquarters in celebration of its staff, clients and volunteers. It serves more than 2,000 people each year, strengthening families and building communities.
BCNC Board President Selina Chow praised the leadership of Giles Li, who became executive director of BCNC in November 2013. Li has been working at the agency since 2006.
“He’s done an exceptional job,” Chow said. “Giles is very experienced in his involvement with the community and as an advocate of Asian American justice.”
Li spoke about BCNC’s expansion to Quincy in 2010, which moved to a new space in 2014 . The Quincy BCNC adult education program was No. 3 in Massachusetts and No. 1 in the South Shore.
“We have programs that serve about 100 people a week,” Li said.
BCNC broke fundraising records this year, raising more than $1 million in grants and more than $300,000 at its February gala. 2014 Boston Marathon charity runners Chloe Poon and Brendan Greally brought in $21,308, setting a new high.
“Chloe Poon was the first staffer to run in the marathon, who set a record of $11,000 for herself and had the best finish of four hours and nine minutes on a sprained ankle,” Li said of Poon, BCNC’s assistant director of adult education. “Chloe is a visible example, but all our staff go above and beyond. I’m proud to be here.”
Client achievements were also recognized Thursday night. Qiuyan “Joy” Zheng spoke about her experience as a parent of an autistic child and an English student.
“I am going to apply to Bunker Hill [Community College] next year,” Zheng said. “I am interested in cooking or child care programs, so I can help other parents with similar experience.”
English teaching volunteer Jim Loughlin was recognized for volunteering since September 1993. “It’s a second family here; I feel that way with my students and I know the staff,” he said. “I really love this place and the spirit of it.”
Pam Eddinger spoke about her immigrant experience. She immigrated to Miami from Hong Kong when she was 11 and was named president of Bunker Hill Community College in 2013.
“Part of my vision for Bunker Hill is to convene our partners about what immigrants need,” Eddinger said. “Community college is democracy’s college: everyone comes and everyone is welcome.”
This post is also available in: Chinese