By Ling-Mei Wong
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh made more than $7 million of funding available to local organizations on July 1 at an announcement at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center. The community development block grants will support 68 programs, including workforce training, youth programs, transitions out of homelessness and English classes for new immigrants.
“My parents were two Irish immigrants whose son becomes the mayor of Boston,” Walsh said. “If that’s not the American dream, I don’t know what is.”
Walsh said the grants would help Bostonians get into the workplace and build better lives. “These grants will help people rise out of poverty,” he said.
According to Walsh, at least 23 percent of Boston families with children are currently living below the poverty line. “The link between economic opportunity and education is clear.… These funds will strengthen families and help make the city a more well-rounded community,” he said.
BCNC was awarded $35,000, which will support more than 150 children enrolled in the Red Oak After School and Summer Program.
Shirley Yan, a parent, spoke about her daughters’ positive experiences at BCNC. Her 7- and 9-year-old girls enjoy the yearlong Red Oak program, even during the summer, enabling Yan and her husband to work full-time.
“They become happy kids and we are happy parents,” Yan said. “Thank you Mayor Walsh for supporting BCNC and my family.”
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