Next STEP English program recognized by state for most students sent to college

This year's winners of $1,000 college scholarships from First Literacy at the awards ceremony at Boston City Hall in July. Peggie Kuang (red shirt in far right), AACA Next STEP student, was among the scholarship winners. (Photo courtesy of First Literacy)

For the second year in a row, the Next Steps Transitional English Program (Next STEP) of the Asian American Civic Association (AACA) has sent more adults to college than any other community-based adult basic education program funded by the Mass. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). DESE released fiscal year 2014 statistics on adults who enrolled in college after studying in adult English language learning programs. AACA had the highest number of students entering secondary education among community-based organizations in Massachusetts. Next STEP was created in January 1993 to bridge the gap between basic English classes in greater Boston’s … Continue reading

NAAAP leadership forum showcases Asian faces

NAAAP Boston leaders and board members with the keynote speaker Sheila Lirio Marcelo, CEO of (Photo courtesy of Vekonda Luangaphay)

Young Asian Americans learned about what it meant to be a leader at the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) Third Annual Leadership Forum on Oct. 4 at the Boston Marriot Cambridge. “Raise your hand up high and say I am a leader to whichever group you feel like leading because we need more of those roles,” said Sheila Lirio Marcelo, CEO and founder of, in her keynote speech. The event meant to inspire junior professionals, with about 250 professionals and students at the forum. Beginning with a career fair of 18 organizations, the 2014 theme was “Leading … Continue reading

Chinatown Coalition discusses local business

U.S. Representative Michael Capuano, D-Mass., and John Barros, Boston’s first chief of economic development spoke at the meeting. (Photo courtesy of Vekonda Luangaphay)

The Chinatown Coalition (TCC) met to discuss business development in Boston and congressional updates during its monthly meeting on Oct. 9 at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center. John Barros, Boston’s first chief of economic development, spoke on the potential job market, which he was optimistic about. He discussed potential investors from other countries, such as China, to talk about bringing businesses to Massachusetts. U.S. Representative Michael Capuano, D-Mass., gave an update on the lack of major changes before primary elections on Nov. 4, one reason being the deep political divide along party lines. Community members shared their concerns about hurdles … Continue reading

Business festival celebrates Asian entrpreneurship

The Asian Business Festival organized by the National Association of Asian American Professionals’s Boston chapter took place at Chinatown Park on Oct. 13. 
(Image courtesy of Ellen Duong)

By ELLEN DUONG The National Association of Asian American Professionals’s Boston chapter (NAAAP Boston) held the Asian Business Festival at Chinatown Park in celebration of Asian entrepreneurship and community on Oct. 12. The event, which focused on Asian-owned and Asian-focused businesses, attracted many people with more than 30 vendors and nonprofits. Many lined up for a hot meal from the Chicken & Rice Guys and Wow Barbecue food trucks, while enjoying live music from Airacuda and Soulpax, two bands from the Berklee College of Music. Others gathered around the vendor stands to sample teas, snacks and sweets from small businesses. … Continue reading

Republican governor hopeful Charlie Baker visits Chinatown

Charlie Baker visited Chinatown on Oct. 12. (L to R) Lili Mei, Frank Chin, state Rep. Donald Wong and Sherry Dong 
(Image courtesy of Vekonda Luangaphay.)
麻州共和黨州長候選人查理·貝克於10月12日在唐人街拉票。(左到右)梅麗梨、陳毓禮、州議員黃子安和塔芙茨醫療中心的曾雪清。(圖片由Vekonda Luangaphay攝。)

Republican governor candidate Charlie Baker campaigned in Chinatown at the Nam Pai Boston Ultimate Fitness gym on Harrison Street on Oct. 12. “He is a very compassionate person, and he knows his material well,” said Amy Guen, a 90-year-old Chinatown resident, about Baker’s health care experience. She was sitting with more than 70 attendees, including many senior citizens. State rep. Donald Wong and community leader Frank Chin helped organize the Baker event in Chinatown. In 1994, Baker signed legislation to make Medicare supplement insurance more affordable for low-income elders. Baker was the president and CEO of Harvard Vanguard’s parent company, … Continue reading

Boston mayor releases plan for 53,000 housing units by 2030

Mayor Marty Walsh announced plans to add 53,000 housing units in Boston by 2030 on Oct. 9 at the One Greenway construction site in Chinatown. (Image courtesy of Vekonda Luangaphay.)

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh released “Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030,” a plan for housing that calls for 53,000 new units by 2030 on Oct. 9 at the One Greenway construction site. The plan focuses on four demographic groups: Seniors, low-income households, the middle class and students. A total of 5,000 new units will be for seniors, 44,000 new units for the workforce and 4,000 new units for vacancies to stabilize the market. “(Seniors) must be able to age in their homes. They have earned that right and we need them as neighbors,” Walsh said. “We need to support services … Continue reading