WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 1, 2016) — The three winners of AARP’s inaugural Asian American and Pacific Islander Community Hero Awards were announced Wednesday. The awards were created to acknowledge hard-working staff and volunteers of non-profit organizations serving AAPIs age 50-plus and the winners and their organizations will each receive a $1,000 cash prize.
Finalists were selected from 77 submissions AARP received from around the country including California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Washington, DC. The stellar nominees included executive directors, staff, and volunteers who work in healthcare, social services, education, technology, and the arts. The public visitedfacebook.com/AARPAAPICommunity to cast their vote during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May.
Shiao-Lin D. Hui, Julie Kimiyo Hubbard and Dongwoo “Joe” Pak were named as the winners.
“We’re proud to recognize Julie, Shiao-Lin, and Dongwoo ‘Joe’ for their outstanding contributions and dedication to our seniors,” said Daphne Kwok, AARP Vice President of Multicultural Leadership, Asian American and Pacific Islander Audience Strategy. “They tirelessly devote their time, talents, and passion to provide an invaluable service to our community. We hope that they inspire others to work or volunteer for our older adults.”
Shiao-Lin D. Hui, of the Chinese Community Center Free Clinic at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of Chicago in Chicago, has dedicated her time and energy to running a free medical clinic every Sunday for seniors and the under-served population in Chicago’s Chinatown for the past 15 years. Although the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of Chicago provided basic medical advice through volunteer medical professionals for the community in the 1990s, it could not provide laboratory services and medications until Ms. Hui took charge of expanding its services. She partnered with the Chicago Mercy Hospital Medical Center to underwrite laboratory services and organized medical practitioners in the Chinese community to establish a clinic to provide free medical care for Chinatown’s seniors. As a nurse practitioner, she also cares for patients directly. Her tireless efforts have helped many seniors who otherwise would not have received acute or preventive care or be screened for cancer, hepatitis, and other diseases.
Julie Kimiyo Hubbard, of Yu-Ai Kai Japanese American Community Senior Service in San Jose, Calif., is the activities coordinator for the past 12 years, and is the hub of much of the planned events for its senior members. Yu-Ai Kai serves 3,000 seniors and their families annually and has two facilities to help the growing senior population in San Jose, CA maintain an independent lifestyle. Yu-Ai Kai offers caregiving and bereavement support groups, a nutritious lunch program, Senior Day Services, bilingual case management, and health screenings. Her commitment to keep seniors active in mind and body motivated her to recruit volunteer instructors and develop new programs. She empowers and nurtures instructors to teach and often makes it a point to check in on classes to provide encouragement to everyone. “The seniors at Yu-Ai Kai are my family,” says Ms. Kimiyo Hubbard, and her current role is “the most fulfilling position I’ve ever had.”
Dongwoo “Joe” Pak, of the Korean-American Seniors Association of Orange County in Garden Grove, Calif., has been volunteering for the Korean-American Seniors Association of Orange County (KASAOC) since 1999. Established in 1977 to provide leadership for Korean seniors, KASAOC fosters respect for elders, promotes the spirit of mutual assistance, and provides cultural events to enhance cross-cultural understanding among diverse residents of Orange County. Since many of its members are monolingual, it was very difficult and challenging to navigate the fixed route public transportation system run by the Orange County Transit Authority (OCTA). Led by Mr. Pak, KASAOC started a Senior Mobility Program with grants from OCTA and the City of Garden Grove in 2003 to help seniors get to markets, hospitals, pharmacies, ESL classes, and US Citizenship exam preparation classes. Mr. Pak also helps fundraise and garner support for KASAOC from major corporations and organizations, including California’s Office of Aging.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin;www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.