Historic investment: NaFFAA NY awarded $1.6M for community center in Queens

Representative Grace Meng (D-Queens) has secured over $1.6 million in Federal Community Project Funding for the National Federation of Filipino American Associations New York Chapter (NaFFAA NY). This allocation, included in the recent fiscal appropriations passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden last week, marks a significant milestone in the development of a multicultural, multipurpose community center in Woodside, Queens.

The funding, obtained through Representative Meng’s advocacy, reflects a commitment to empowering and enriching communities in need.

“We extend our sincerest gratitude to Representative Grace Meng for her commitment to the district, and empowering and enriching its residents in need,” said Rachelle Ocampo, president of NaFFAA NY. “This funding will enable us to expand our collective reach and impact, providing a dedicated space for our community to come together, celebrate our Filipino heritage, and access valuable resources.”

Ocampo emphasized the center’s potential to serve as a hub for celebrating Filipino heritage and accessing vital resources, benefiting residents across New York.

Congresswoman Meng’s efforts have secured over $13 million for 15 crucial projects throughout Queens, demonstrating her commitment to delivering resources that enhance safety, services, and quality of life for residents. As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, Meng’s role in determining federal funding allocation underscores her dedication to serving Queens.

“Here in Queens, we deserve to receive the federal funding we need, and I am proud to continue delivering critical money for our borough,” said Congresswoman Meng. “I will never stop fighting for Queens and working to bring back resources from Washington that improve services, safety, and quality of life for residents. I look forward to these important projects moving forward and seeing them serve our communities.”

The investment represents the largest federal grant awarded to a Filipino-led organization in New York State, highlighting the historic contributions and pressing needs of the Filipino American community. Beyond serving as a testament to Filipino heritage, the center aims to foster inclusivity, opportunity, and hope for the diverse communities of Woodside.

According to Meng’s proposal, a Filipino community center in Woodside, Queens, consolidates resources and services, streamlining access to educational, cultural, and social opportunities. By promoting social cohesion and economic vitality, the center serves as a catalyst for community development and empowerment. Its impact extends beyond the Filipino American community, benefiting residents from various backgrounds.

NaFFAA NY looks forward to collaborating with government and civic leaders, engaging diverse stakeholders, and serving New Yorkers. With a dedicated leadership team and community-driven approach, NaFFAA NY is poised to realize the center’s potential and meet the evolving needs of the communities it serves.

As plans for the community center unfold, NaFFAA NY remains committed to its mission of fostering leadership, civic engagement, and community building among Filipino Americans.

“NaFFAA looks forward to the continued partnership with government and civic leaders, diverse local stakeholders, and the Filipino community. We are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for the organization and the New Yorkers we look forward to serving,” said Michelle Amor, executive director of NaFFAA NY.

The NaFFAA New York Chapter is currently led by president Rachelle Ocampo, executive director Michelle Amor, vice president Stevenson Van Derodar, treasurer Alyssa Trinidad, Director of Public Policy Clifford Temprosa, Director of Community Relations Clare Collins, and Director of Digital Engagement Sabrina Tesalona. n

Momar G. Visaya

Momar G. Visaya is the Executive Editor of the Asian Journal. You can reach him at [email protected].

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