Community Hero Award Recipients

2019 – Bhutanese Society of Western MA

Bhutanese Society of Western Massachusetts is incorporated with the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts since 2010 with the mission of providing cultural, educational and charitable services.

Some of the like-minded youths and educated elders joined hand to form an organization with the nomenclature of Bhutanese Society of Western Massachusetts in June 2010, aiming to provide necessary services to the community to help strengthen the resettlement program effectively and successfully. Though we are still in a toddler’s stage due to the lack of adequate resources, we are optimistic to do better in the community. There is growing interest and enthusiasm among the educated youth members of the community to participate in the organization, which is a biggest strength and potential asset for our existence.

2018 – Richard T. Chu, UMass Amherst (A.B.) Ateneo de Manila University; M.A. Stanford University; Ph.D. University of Southern California) is Five-College Associate Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  He is the author of Chinese and Chinese Mestizos of Manila: Family, Identity, and Culture 1860s–1930s (E.J. Brill, 2010; Anvil 2012) and of other various publications focusing on the history of the Chinese in the Philippines and Asian Americans. He teaches courses on the Chinese diaspora, Philippines, U.S. empire in the Pacific, and Asian/Pacific/America.

Since 2016, he has been actively seeking to create collaborative projects between UMass, the Five Colleges Consortium, the city of Springfield, and the various Asian American communities of Western Massachusetts. One such project is the Oral History Project that recounts stories of migration and settlement of individuals from the Bhutanese, Vietnamese, and Filipino communities of Springfield.

2017 – Mr. Boa Newgate is the Lead Manager for the Mental Health Cultural Case Management program at the Southeast Asian Coalition, where he has worked since 2008. He also oversees SEAC’s Youth Effect program that serves more than 100 youth annually. Mr. Newgate initiated the Vietnamese Language program at SEAC and co- founded SEAC’s Lion Dance program, which has been instrumental in helping keep kids off the street while encouraging them to embrace their cultural heritage. Mr. Newgate is a much-loved mentor and friend for many at-risk youth in Worcester. He is also well respected by older members of the Asian community in Worcester for his dedication to helping refugees, immigrants and low-income residents to successfully integrate and thrive, and to providing a safe place for youth to grow holistically.