Hello from Scholarship
NAAAP Boston Scholarship is pleased to announce that with the continued support of our family and corporate donors, we were able to award five scholarships this year. This comes during a time of continued financial hardship for many, so we are delighted to be able to continue investing in our future leaders. As the world is starting to reopen again and try to strive back towards normalcy, we were excited to host this year’s scholarship ceremony in person at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel Boston – North Station.
We believe that the scholarship is a way for NAAAP Boston to help strengthen our community in the face of anti-Asian hate. By uplifting our youth, we continue to support each other, and invest in each other's future. Many of our scholars are actively engaged in social justice issues, and have already done so much to empower the Asian-American community. They are vocal about issues that are at the heart of our collective wellbeing, such as gentrification, racial biases, gender norms and identity, and environmental justice. We here at NAAAP Boston draw so much of our inspiration from the passion and strength of our scholars.
Our scholars truly exemplify the phrase of leading by example to build a better world. We are humbled by their incredible stories and resilience, and are excited about what lies ahead. We hope you enjoy learning more about them in their profiles below, and that you can join us to hear their stories at our ceremony.
Youth Engagement Director
Founded out of a grassroots fundraising campaign by community members in 1987, the NAAAP Boston Future Leaders Scholarship Awards are offered yearly to high school seniors enrolling in college or university. Winners have a demonstrated track record of academic excellence, community engagement, and leadership potential.
By providing students with additional financial needs in their academic careers, NAAAP Boston hopes to further our mission of inspiring, promoting, and building leaders within the Asian American community. To date, over $200,000 in scholarships have been awarded to over 100 high school seniors.
Photographs by SamieWongPhotos (Instagram)
PAUL LEE is a founder and Board President of the Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC), which builds affordable housing in the Boston Chinatown and other Asian American communities. Mr. Lee joined Goodwin Procter from 1984-2013 and was one of the first Asian American partners at a major law firm in Boston. He represented technology and financial services companies on corporate governance and transactional matters including mergers and acquisitions, venture capital financings, IPOs, and technology licensing issues.
Mr. Lee is also the past board chair for Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC in Washington DC, a national Asian American civil rights organization, past president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), and past president and founder of the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts (AALAM).
Additionally, he was a past chair of the Massachusetts Asian American Commission, served as a board member of the Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence, and was an advisor to the founders of the National Association of Asian American Professionals-Boston (NAAAP Boston). In 2009, he received the NAAAP 100 Leadership Award.
Mr. Lee grew up in the Boston Chinatown and Brookline, where his Chinese immigrant parents worked in hand laundries, restaurants, and garment factories. The Richard & Chou Lee Scholarship was founded by Mr. Lee and his siblings in honor of their parents.
FRANCIS CHIN is a founder and former Managing Partner of Chin & Curtis, LLP. First established in 1986, the firm is one of the largest specialty immigration firms in New England. Mr. Chin has been named annually for more than 25 years in The Best Lawyers in America and also The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers.
Actively involved in the Asian community, Mr. Chin has been a long-term supporter of the Asian American Civic Association (AACA), the Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence (ATASK), and the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts (AALAM), which he co-founded 30 years ago. With his support, Chin & Curtis has provided pro bono legal assistance to refugees and immigrants, including unaccompanied minors.
The Edwin K. and Mary G. Chin Family Scholarship was established in 2018 by Mr. Chin and his siblings in honor of their parents. This award places a particular emphasis on recognizing students who overcome significant challenges and financial burdens, in addition to achieving academic excellence and leadership in the community
Ezra Zwaeli is a speechwriter, poet, and essayist exploring the ways that language can shift perspectives, shape policies, and produce more equitable outcomes for all of us. His approach to this work is informed by his experience as the mixed-race child of a queer parent and a first-generation immigrant parent. Ezra currently serves as Director of Speechwriting for Boston Mayor Michelle Wu—the first woman, first Millennial, and first person of color elected to the office. Previously, Ezra was a Director at the speechwriting and strategy firm West Wing Writers.