Our Team


Meet Our Team

Esther Hio-Tong Castillo, PhD (鄭曉彤社會學博士)

CIFWI Founder (創始人)

Dr. Esther Hio-Tong Castillo is a sociologist, educator and community advocate. Prior to joining CIFWI, she had taught Sociology courses with a focus on social justice in Temple University, Drexel University, Rowan University, and University of Sciences in Philadelphia. Born and raised in Macau, China, she is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin. She has over a decade of experience serving the immigrant communities, including teaching ESL classes, leading after-school programs, engaging in community health outreach efforts, and organizing and implementing educational programs in colleges and across communities. Dr. Castillo has a MA in Humanities and Social Thoughts from NYU and she obtained her PhD in Sociology from Temple University in 2017. In 2020, she founded CIFWI with the intent to promote awareness about mental health and to create spaces of intergenerational healing in the Asian immigrant communities. Dr. Castillo served as CIFWI’s Program Director between 2020 and 2022.

John William Chin (陳國賢先生)

Executive Director of PCDC (費城華埠發展會執行董事)

John Chin is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC), a non-profit organization, whose mission is to preserve, protect, and promote Chinatown as a viable, ethnic, residential and business community. Mr. Chin serves on the board of numerous organizations including PHLDiversity and the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, as well as the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Executive Committee. He served on the steering committee of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy. Mr. Chin also serves on the Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs, the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Construction Industry Diversity, and Mayor’s Office of Community and Empowerment Opportunity. In 2010 he served on the Philadelphia School District’s Diversity Taskforce. He was the co-chair of the Community Outreach Committee for the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Mr. Chin joined PCDC in 2000 and he graduated from Drexel University with a BS in Management Information Systems and Business Administration. At CIFWI, Mr. Chin works closely with community members to identify needs and issues relevant to Chinese immigrant families.

Kimberly Mak

Advisory Committee Coordinator

Kim Mak is a Licensed Associate Counselor who practices in NJ. She also has her Student Assistance Coordinator certificate that she uses to implement intervention and prevention programs and services. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Rowan University and graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at The College of New Jersey in 2022, with a track in addictions. Her interests include holistic and mindfulness approaches to wellness and goals of helping others reach their happiness. Kim believes empathy and compassion through culturally sensitive psychotherapy can help others with an array of mental health issues as well as stress management, relationship difficulties and life-transitions, as well as other concerns. She joined CIFWI because of her passion to de-stigmatize mental health with marginalized populations and aspires to be an advocate for mental health wellness for minorities, especially in the Asian community. She is a first generation Chinese American and has a bicultural background. At CIFWI, she works as Advisory Committee Coordinator in gathering other AAPI mental health professionals together to collaborate and generate ideas that will be helpful to the community and to also create a safe space for AAPI identifying clients. During her off time, she engages in many self-care practices including traveling, exploring foods, and spending time with close family, friends, and her kitties.

Eric Xu (徐誠杰)

2022 Wellness Leadership Program Coordinator

Eric Xu is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Bachelor of Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining CIFWI, Eric worked as a Community Health Worker at PCDC’s weekly COVID-19 vaccine clinic where he helped Chinese immigrants with limited English proficiency get vaccinated. Currently, Eric is the Coordinator of CIFWI’s 2022 Wellness Leadership Program, facilitating conversations, building connections, and bringing together youth participants, peer mentors, and expert partners to ensure the success of the Program. He is also an alumnus of the 2021 CIFWI Wellness Leadership Program where he served as a Peer Mentor. As a second-generation Chinese American, he is dedicated to improving mental health for all Asian Americans.


CIFWI Mental Health Committee

CIFWI Mental Health Committee provides expert knowledge on mental health issues in the local Asian and Asian American immigrant communities. The Committee’s goal is to come up with strategic advice on how to bridge the gaps between existing models of mental health care and community needs as well as to ensure that CIFWI’s programming is culturally relevant and based on data and evidence. 


Option 1: Schedule a Meeting

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, partnerships,
or have any questions, schedule a 30-minute meeting with us to chat.

Option 2: Contact Us via Email

CIFWI is part of Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation.

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301 N 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107