AARP Celebrates the 2018 AARP Asian American & Pacific Islander Hero Award Winners

WASHINGTON, D.C.— AARP announces the winners of the 2018 Asian American & Pacific Islander Hero Award: Denny Chan of Justice in Aging in Los Angeles and Jon Melegrito of the the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetRep) in Kensington, Maryland. This is the first year that AARP is honoring both a staff member and a volunteer at a nonprofit organization serving AAPIs age 50 and older.

“We celebrate the dedication of our AAPI Hero Award winners, who tirelessly advocate every day to help improve the lives of older adults,” said Daphne Kwok, AARP VP of Multicultural Leadership, AAPI Audience Strategy. “As we approach 2019, let’s all pledge to serve our elders in our own communities.”

2018 AARP AAPI Hero Award Winner (Staff):
Denny Chan, Justice in Aging, Los Angeles, CA
Denny is a staff attorney at Justice in Aging, a non-profit organization that uses law to fight senior poverty. Denny advocates for the needs of older adults, especially those with limited English proficiency. His legal work focuses on securing access to affordable health care, economic security, and the courts for older adults with limited resources.

2018 AARP AAPI Hero Award Winner (Volunteer):
Jon Melegrito, Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetRep), Kensington, Maryland
Jon is the son of a Filipino World War II Veteran. From civil rights to the anti-apartheid movement, he has spent a lifetime building movements for equity and justice. Now, he advocates for Filipino World War II Veterans as a volunteer for a non-profit organization, the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetRep). He is working with fellow advocates to feature the stories of Filipino World War II Veterans and their Congressional Gold Medal at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

AARP’s AAPI Hero Award is a nationwide contest that celebrates unsung heroes — volunteer and staff members who work diligently behind the scenes in nonprofit organizations serving AAPI age 50 and older. To learn more, visit:,, Facebook, Twitter and WeChat.


AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.