Mr. Erick Pinedo was selected as the recipient of Asian American / Asian Research Institute’s 2009 CUNY Thomas Tam Scholarship. The Scholarship, in honor of the late Dr. Thomas Tam and administered by AAARI, awards $1,000 annually to a single qualified undergraduate student currently enrolled at CUNY, Asian or non-Asian, who has demonstrated creativity in the communication of the concerns of the Asian American community in areas such as Health, Education and Culture.
A recent graduate from Borough of Manhattan Community College, Mr. Pinedo was honored at the Asian American / Asian Research Institute’s 8th Annual Gala. Mr. Pinedo’s project, Visiting the Great Wall of Mott Street, proposes a coordination between hotels and the local Chinatown organizations to create tours that will highlight the neighborhood’s cultural and historical significance.
Project Excerpt: “There is so much history and culture in Asian communities in the United States. Unfortunately, I believe it mostly gets overlooked by visitors who feel that bargain hunting takes precedence. My plan is to work with local Asian organizations such as the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation, NYC Tourist.com and Chinatown-online to set up special tours for area concierges, showing them that these Asian communities have more to offer than just finding a good deal.
A good concierge has their finger on the pulse of a city. Many visitors go to the concierge to learn more about what a city has to offer and what can they do during their stay. These tours would help familiarize concierge to the history and cultures of the Asian communities of New York City. With this newly acquired knowledge, they can better explain the richness that these Asian communities possess. I believe that by providing guided tours to these areas (Chinatown, Sunset Park Brooklyn, Flushing-Queens), the concierge community can experience first-hand the Asian cultures and their way of life. It will give them the opportunity to be more knowledgeable when relaying this information.”