The New Americans
At the second annual “The New American” event, AL DÍA honored three distinguished professions for their decades-long work.
As collaborative hosts of “The New American” reception, AL DÍA and Cabrini University showed just how rich and diverse this city, and this country is.
During the event at the Kimmel Center on Saturday, June 29, three awardees were presented with the Mother Cabrini award for their impacts on the industries, institutions, and communities around them.
Before presenting each of their awards, Chioma Ugochukwu, thanked each recipient for “being powerful examples to our students, vital members of our communities, and integral assets to the Greater Philadelphia region.”
She was a trained physical therapist, but nonetheless, it took her three years to persuade the state to allow her to sit and take the licensing exam.
Understanding her situation, she became the brain behind the establishment of the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians to support and nurture immigrants who have come to Pennsylvania with a higher education degree, but find difficulty integrating into the U.S. workforce.
Since its founding in 2003, the Welcoming Center has served more than 17,000 people from over 150 countries.
“In many ways, we immigrants are a gift to the United States and to Pennsylvania,” she said.
As an immigrant herself, Chin reminds others of the fact that all of us came to this country from somewhere.
“As immigrants, we bring to this country our heritage, our culture, and our rich tradition,” she said. “We, as immigrants, make America strong. We make America rich.”
After graduating from Temple University, Chin started her nearly four decade long career teaching underserved students in the School District of Philadelphia.
She’s currently the chair of the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC), where she helps raise funds for Asian students pursuing paths to college.
“It is this belief that diversity equals richness that drives me,” she said.
Since coming to the U.S. from Cuba, Yabor has taken advantage of the many opportunities this country has given him.
Those advantages helped him build a 503 Corporation from scratch, where for 18 years, he helped generate jobs and provide services for the corporate and government sectors.
As the owner of the 503 Corporation, Yabor remained determined to pay his employees well, help educate them, and give out bonuses every year.
Now retired, he couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities he’s gotten since arriving to the country.
“There’s no way that I could ever repay this wonderful country for what it’s given me,” he said.