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Nominate an Asian American Pacific Islander Hero

The 3rd annual AARP AAPI Hero Awards are looking for nominees through May

There are many unsung Asian American Pacific Islander heroes past and present. These heroes will continue to shape America, helping to redefine what it means to be Asian American Pacific Islander in meaningful and empowering ways. These heroes, especially the extraordinary staff and volunteers of nonprofit organizations who serve AAPI's age 50-plus, often go unnoticed. But it's undeniable that their time and talent is mission-critical in serving marginalized aging populations.

The AARP AAPI Hero Awards recognizes these volunteer and staff members who work tirelessly behind the scenes in nonprofit organizations, and who serve 50-plus Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. 

We’re looking for the people who are important contributors to their organizations and clients, who make a difference and whose stories would inspire others to do the same in their communities. 

One volunteer and one staff member will each win $1,000, and their nonprofit organizations will also win $1,000 each.

Please see the nomination form and the official rules for more information.

Julie Kimiyo Hubbard

Gil Asakawa

From left: Daphne Kwok, AARP vice president of Multicultural Markets & Engagement, Asian American & Pacific Islander Audience; Julie Kimiyo Hubbard, one of the winners of the 2016 AARP AAPI Hero Awards; and Edna Kane Williams, AARP senior vice president, Multicultural Marketing. Hubbard is a volunteer at Yu-Ai Kai, a San Jose organization that serves Japanese American seniors.


  • Eligible nominees creatively give their time and talent as nonexecutive level staff or volunteers of social-good organizations or nonprofits that serve AAPIs age 50-plus
  • Eligible nominees must be at least 18 years of age and can be of any ethnicity.
  • Their presence plays an integral role in the mission and vision of the social-good organization. Their service leads to breakthrough moments and/or demonstrable impact for the organization and its intended program beneficiaries. 
  • They serve as inspiring role models or everyday unsung heroes who empower others to serve aging populations.
  • They represent different fields and interests. They might give their technology skills, helping aging populations become digitally literate in a connected world, or deliver meals in senior housing. They may organize key activities for their organization’s clients or serve as translators.
  • They reimagine what it means to be an Asian American Pacific Islander Hero who pushes America and humanity forward.  


  • Any nonexecutive employee or volunteer of a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that serves the AAPI 50-plus community can be nominated as a hero. 
  • The nominee does not have to be AAPI, or 50-plus in age, but must be involved in a program that serves 50-plus AAPIs. 
  • You can nominate as many people as you feel are deserving of the award and $1,000 prize. 
  • Every organization that is nominated with the hero must be a tax-exempt nonprofit that provides services to AAPIs including 50-plus AAPIs.


  • The winner in each category (volunteer and staff) will receive a $1,000 prize along with their organization. 
  • The winner and the organization will also be featured in a short video documentary.

How to Nominate 

  • Write in 200 words or less a story about the nominee and why the nominee is an AAPI Hero. Nominees should be volunteers or nonexecutive staff for a nonprofit that serves 50-plus AAPIs. 
  • Include a head-shot photo of nominee (high resolution digital format only). 
  • Include a description of the nominee’s organization (50 words or less).

Contest Timeline 

  • Nominations are now being accepted through May 31.  
  • A selection committee will choose 10 finalists, who will be featured on Facebook beginning July 15.
  • The public will vote for their favorite nominees July 15-31. 
  • Winners for both the volunteer and staff categories will be announced in August.
  • The winners’ video documentaries will be unveiled in November.

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