Join AAPIP-LA in partnership with the Asian Pacific Community Fund on a tour to explore the East San Gabriel Valley and the community nonprofits which serve this important but often overlooked part of Los Angeles. Encompassing roughly four hundred square miles, 15 cities ranging from El Monte to Diamond Bar, the East San Gabriel Valley is home to nearly one million Angelenos and vibrant AANHPI communities.
In our visit to the East San Gabriel Valley, we will have two panels hosted outdoors at the Jeff Seymour Family Center and learn from local nonprofits about how the community has grappled with the impacts of the pandemic on the community’s health, education, and well-being as well as emergent needs for the future. We will learn about barriers, funding gaps and how funders can make an impact within the AANHPI community.
El Monte Promise Foundation
East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center
Foundations for Disabled Youth
Chinatown Service Center
Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation
Empowering Pacific Islander Communities
At the end of our tour, we invite you to enjoy lunch with us catered by a local restaurant.
While we will not have time to tour the entire East San Gabriel Valley, we have created a curated map of nonprofits in the area for you to explore on your own: Click here to explore the map.
We ask that all participants are fully vaccinated and if you are experiencing any COVID-like symptoms approaching the date of the tour, we ask that you please stay home.
Masks will be required for parts of our tour.
Executive Director, El Monte Promise Foundation
Jennifer Cobian is the Executive Director for the El Monte Promise Foundation. She is a dedicated advocate for education and equity for all children and families. Jennifer also serves as a member of the El Monte City School District Governing Board. Under her leadership, the El Monte City School District has increased opportunities and outcomes for students. In 2022, all of the 14 schools in the district were awarded the Pivotal Practice Award, the highest educational honor in the State. Jennifer received her BA from UC Santa Cruz, MA from the University of Chicago, and teaching credential from Cal State Los Angeles. She has worked as a Speechwriter for the Governor of California in Sacramento and as a teacher in the El Monte City School District. She is passionate about giving back to the community. Jennifer is a member of the El Monte Women’s Club, a soccer coach for AYSO, and a troop leader for an El Monte Girl Scout Troop. She also volunteers with Girls Scouts of America, and has served on various committees for the El Monte Union High School District.
Jennifer is proud to live in El Monte with her husband and two children who attend El Monte City and El Monte Union schools, and two children who attend Cal Poly Humboldt.
Director of Development & Outreach, Chinatown Service Center
Joanne is a seasoned marketing executive with extensive experience in a variety of industries, ranging from advertising, healthcare, transportation, telecommunications, financial, insurance, entertainment, media, legal, publishing, and education. One of her proud projects was the 2020 Census, she and her team managed the multifaceted strategic media plan targeting Asian Americans in the United States and strived their best to get as many people as possible to be counted, the campaign generated over 90% response rate when it was concluded.
Joanne is a big advocate for a greener world. She is also passionate about giving back to the community. She often volunteers for local organizations on weekends, or shares her talents in hosting events, officiating weddings, singing, acting, broadcasting, and playwriting. She was born in Hong Kong and can speak Cantonese and Mandarin.
Karla Thomas is the oldest daughter to Samoan and Aymara parents, who come from the villages of Vatia, Tutuila in American Samoa and Quime, Bolivia. She was raised in San Bernardino, CA on Serrano and Tongva land. Karla is the Deputy Director of Empowering Pacific Islander Communities, overseeing its Research Pillar and comes from a public health background with a focus on health policy. Prior to joining EPIC, Karla was co-founder and Policy Director of the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) Data Policy Lab at UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she also co-founded the Pasifika Inland Empire Coalition for Empowerment, which comprises 3 organizations addressing COVID-19 health inequities impacting Pacific Islanders. She received her Master of Public Health from the USC and is also a UCLA alumna. She is dedicated to being a fierce advocate for all Pasifika people and is passionate about improving health equity for her community.
Executive Director, East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center
Pearl Omiya is the Executive Director of the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center. She has been with the organization since 2005, first as the Operations Manager, and promoted in 2006 to its first full-time Executive Director. Pearl is responsible for development, fundraising, and overall management of the organization. She sits on every board committee including Development & Leadership, Facilities, Programs, and Strategic Planning. She is the sole grant writer for the organization as well as chairs the ESGVJCC’s two largest fundraising events.
Pearl holds two Bachelor Degrees in Economics and Japanese. Immediately following graduation from the University of California Los Angeles, Pearl was accepted into the Japan Exchange Teaching (JET) Programme and taught English for the Okazaki Board of Education for two years. While she was in Japan, she co-edited the prefecture’s Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) Newsletter as well as co-founded a Kindergarten English program.
Upon her return to the States, Pearl entered graduate school and obtained her Teaching Credential in Social Science from Cal Poly Pomona and is in pursuit of her Masters’ Degree in History. She also taught for the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center’s Japanese Language School and the ESGV DISKovery Center, a computer literacy program for older adults and seniors. Pearl was also integral in opening two social enterprises for the ESGVJCC, the Kokoro no Sato Infant Center and Preschool (2017) and the ClubGenki Senior Adult Day Program (2022).
CEO, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation
Dr. Denq is a highly rated internist in Los Angeles, CA. He has been practicing as primary care physician for over 25 years since graduating from New York Medical College and is licensed to practice in California.
Driven and compassionate about providing the best healthcare possible, Dr. Denq currently works at Tzu Chi Medical Foundation providing excellent outpatient care to patients in the Tzu Chi Health Center - Alhambra and S El Monte since 2012.
Strongly believe that everyone deserves affordable health care, no matter how sick, poor, old, or unemployed, Dr. Denq volunteers his time extensively for medical outreach events in Southern California local communities and internationally in Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Ecuador and other under-served countries.
Board Member, FFDY-Foundation For Disabled Youths
I have been a member, a volunteer Mom and the program coordinator of FFDY, Foundation for Disabled Youths for fourteen years and became a board member in the last five years. I, like many of our parents in the group, am passionate about the services, needs and voices of our special needs population. Most of our members are diagnosed with developmental delay either mentally or physically or both. Our children's voices cannot be heard unless we speak for them, advocate for them and make them known. Our group FFDY is a platform for social interaction which is, otherwise, very limited in our community, as well as a resource exchange among the parents. Our group has been quietly gathering with limited resources both in personnel and finance. Moving forward, my goal as a board member is to represent our group to gain greater public awareness of our needs as well as a greater understanding of the special needs world.