about us

History and Accomplishments

BCNC was founded in 1969 by local residents, parents and community leaders who formed the Quincy School Community Council, to have a voice in the design of the Josiah Quincy Elementary School complex.  From our beginning as a small group of community activists, grew an organization that is now the leading human service provider for Greater Boston's Asian American community.

Below is an overview of BCNC's milestones and accomplishments:

BCNC in the 70's

1974 - Acorn Child Care Center opens in September serving 14 children.

1976 - Boston Community Schools designates QSCC as the administrator of the community school program at the Quincy School complex.

The Recreation and Adult English as a Second Language programs begin.

1977 - The After School program begins serving 15 children.

Family Child Care provider and children

1978 - BCNC begins to offer summer programming through the After School and Recreation programs.

The Youth English as a Second Language Program becomes a program of QSCC.

1991 - The Family Child Care Project begins.

1995 - The Oak Street Youth Center opens.

BCNC plaque

1997 - QSCC changes its name to the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC) to better represent its mission, programming, and location.

1999 - BCNC begins negotiating for a new community center as part of a larger development on Oak Street.

2001 - BCNC receives national recognition by the Annie E. Casey Foundation with the Families Count: The National Honors Program award.

BCNC's Red Oak Staff

2002 - BCNC receives the National Points of Light Foundation President’s Award.

BCNC reaches agreement with Edward A. Fish Associates, the Asian Community Development Corporation and the Boston Redevelopment Authority. The developer agrees to $3.1 million in exchange for BCNC's Oak Street sites. The Oak Street buildings are torn down and construction begins on a new center.

2003 - In January, BCNC begins a capital campaign for $2.3 million for the new center.

38 Ash Street Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

2005 - BCNC exceeds its capital campaign goal by raising a total of $2.8 million. BCNC opens its new building on 38 Ash Street.

2006 - Family Services program begins.

The US Green Building Council certifies the center and gives it a Silver rating for successfully meeting the sustainable building design and performance standards under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.

BCNC receives MFA Community Recognition Award

2007 - Arts and Enrichment program begins and receives the Mayor's award "Ace of ACES" as one of the best arts programs in Boston.

2009 - The Boston Foundation recognizes BCNC with the “My Neighborhood: Boston” award for its contributions to improve the quality of life in Boston’s neighborhoods.

The Museum of Fine Arts honors BCNC with the Community Recognition Award for its commitment to sustain arts for the Chinatown community.

2010 - BCNC embarks on new strategic plan.  Executive Director Elaine Ng is awarded a Barr Foundation Fellowship.

38 Ash Street Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

2011 – Frank and Rose Chin establish BCNC’s first endowment fund named the Chin Tunn Endowment Fund.  

BCNC Parent Solutions curriculum is adopted by Boston Public School’s Parent University as official training for immigrant parents across linguistic communities. 

BCNC creates Bamboo Circle, a young professional network to engage donors and supporters through fundraising, volunteering, and networking. 

2012 - The BCNC Youth Center wins the White House Champions of Change award for their “My Voice – Their Stories” video and was invited to the White House for the awards ceremony. 

Moving forward with our strategic plan to establish a second branch, BCNC successfully launches adult English and citizenship classes in Quincy. 

Elaine Ng receives Change Maker award from the Boston Foundation.

BCNC’s Adult Education program is in the top tier of Adult Education programs and is the 3rd highest ranked program in the state. 

2013 - BCNC becomes the first community-based Chinatown organization to site a credit-bearing college course through Urban College.



Senior Staff

Executive Director: Giles Ligl

Giles Li joined BCNC as program manager in 2006 and was promoted to Director of Programs in 2011, where he held management responsibility over all agency programs. With more than a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector, Giles has a proven track record of direct service, advocacy work, and management experience. Having grown up locally in an immigrant family, he has a life-long connection and commitment to the community in and beyond Chinatown.

Giles is a recognized thought leader and public speaker in Asian American communities nationwide. He holds a Masters degree in Public Affairs from UMass-Boston and is an alumnus of the Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership at Boston University's (BU) School of Management. Giles has also served as adjunct faculty in the Asian American Studies program at UMass-Boston, and he is currently a mentor for the Community Fellows Program at BU.


Director of Development: Carmen Chan

Carmen Chan became BCNC's Director of Development after having served as director of BCNC's successful capital campaign that was completed in 2005.  Carmen has 18 years of fundraising experience and has worked on endowment, capital campaign, special events, major gifts and planned gifts.  Previously, Carmen was director of fundraising at Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation, executive director of the Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence, and director of development and marketing for the Boston Women's Fund.  Carmen is active in the Asian community including serving on the Board of the Chinese Historical Society of New England and a member of the Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.  In 2002, Carmen received the Ten Outstanding Young Leaders award by Boston Jaycees.


Director of Child Care & Enrichment Programs: Bernadette Davidson

Bernadette Davidson has a Master’s Degree in Early Education and Care from Lesley University. She has had many roles in the field including teacher, early intervention specialist, director of two different dual language early education programs, college instructor at several Greater Boston colleges, director of the Child Care Careers Institute, assistant director of one child care resource and referral and professional development director at another and child care consultant. She is a mother of two daughters and a grandmother.


Director of Education & Workforce Initiatives: Russell Fenton

Russell re-joined BCNC in 2011 to become Director of Adult Education. In that role, he began implementing a vision for an outcomes-based program which focuses on helping adult learners meet achievable “next step” goals on their path towards a better job or career. This vision was captured by the phrase, “Survival to Success” and was endorsed by the Adult Education staff and the agency as a whole. In 2012, he oversaw the expansion of the program into Quincy, and in 2013, both the Boston and Quincy programs were ranked in the top tier of all state-funded programs. Russell holds a Master’s degree in Education and is an alumnus of the Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership at Boston University’s School of Management. Formerly a K-12 public school teacher in California, Russell has spent the last eight years working in the field of adult education as a teacher, coordinator, and director.


Director of Finance & Administration: David Jacobs

David has been with BCNC since May 2013 and serves as Director of Finance & Administration.  He has nearly two decades of experience assisting organizations in the professional services, internet, and nonprofit industries.  Prior to joining BCNC, David worked as a Senior Consultant at Accounting Management Solutions and as Director of Finance and Operations for Minuteman Senior Services, Inc., in Burlington, MA.  He received his BA in Economics from Hobart College and MBA from the Colgate Darden Graduate School at the University of Virginia.


Director of Family & Community Engagement: Yoyo Yau

Yoyo Yau, MA, LMHC, is the Director of Family & Community Engagement at BCNC.  Yoyo is a licensed mental health counselor with a background in early intervention, mental health counseling and brain injury recovery.  She has worked with non-profits, hospital settings and state agencies to provide assessment, therapy, treatment and crisis intervention. In 2013, she is selected in the Boston-Haifa Exchange Learning Program which she will have firsthand experienced the dimensions of social justice and leadership in America and Israel.  She was trained as a facilitator by Cordoba Group International LLC in 2012 and conducted a series of Boston Public School student assignment community meetings.  She presented “neuro-art therapy and brain injury” at the 2008 American Art Therapy Conference in Ohio, and at the 2006 Del Giarcco art therapy annual conference in New York, Yoyo has a bachelor’s degree in social work from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, a master’s in expressive therapy from Lesley University,  and has had post graduate training in the Existential Psychotherapy Institute and the American Neuro Arts Therapy Institute.  


Board of Directors 2014 - 2015

Selina Chow, President
Eugene Mahr, Vice-President Boston University

Brian Downer, Treasurer

State Street Global Services

Marian Tse, Clerk

Goodwin Procter LLP

Stephen Chan The Boston Foundation

Dean Chin

Caring Senior Service

Russell Chin

Chin Law Firm

Jimmy Chiu

Senior Whole Health

Lorrayne Chu Lorrayne Yen Chu Consulting Inc.
Christopher Lam Mass Water Resources Authority
Mabel Lam Network of Multicultural Training Professionals, Inc.
Marie Moy Tufts Medical Center
Betty Szeto Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Carissa Wong-Sauve Robeco Investment Management

Advisory Board 2014 - 2015

Debra Ashton Ashton Associates
Frances Burke Integrity International
Paul Chan Mass Housing Investment Corporation
Annie Chin-Louie
Susan Fung Boston Public Schools
Rhys Gardiner LSW
Edward Gee Verizon
Maya Honda
Johnny Ip
San San Lee Deloitte
Irma Mann Irma, Inc.
Ruth Mercado-Zizzo EdVestors
Tamara Pitts Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
Hong T. Vuong Chaston Associates
Beverly Wing The Chinatown Coalition
Perry Wu Staples
Anna Yee Interpreter/Consultant
Raymond Yu Pandemonium Design

Page 2 of 2