Category Archives: Featured Story

The Decisive Moment

When you’re a seven-year old girl whose knowledge of the English language consists of “hello,” “thank you,” and “peach,” you don’t really know how to react when your parents tell you that you are moving to America for one year. Perhaps it was because you didn’t need to know anything about America, living in a small city in Tokyo. Your ... Read More »

Sam Chou: The First Snow

  He hopped from one heat vent to another, over the ones that lay outside the school buildings. It was below zero degrees Celsius, and he had only worn a down jacket and jeans. He was freezing and needed to stay warm. Sam Chou was starting his second semester at the University of Wisconsin in the year of 1990. He ... Read More »

Alfred Kuhn – video story

The first of five stories from our recent storytelling salon, “Foreign Correspondents: Immigrant Odysseys” is now online. Watch Alfred Kuhn tell his story, “Escape from Nazi Germany to a Landing on the Moon”: Read More »

Guri Syversdatter Sundbreen & Lars Paulson Troo

  In the steerage the family slept on a straw-covered plank bunk with barely enough room for four – let alone five. After much seasickness all of Guri’s children suffered from measles and her youngest son died. The greatest bravery was shown by Guri Syversdatter Sundbreen,a little woman in physical stature but a giant in faith. In May 1857 this thirty-eight ... Read More »

Henry Drekmeier, Mathilde and Augusta Wagner

Grandpa Henry Drekmeier spent happy hours skating on the frozen estuaries of the Rhein near Bremerhaven where he was born. I suspect this may have been in the late 1860’s since he fathered the first of his five children in 1896. In order to avoid the Bismarckian military conscription he joined the German merchant marine and spent several years sailing ... Read More »

Francis Squair

Francis Squair (seated with his 3 brothers and 2 sisters) was my great-grandfather. He was born in the Scottish Highlands just east of Loch Ness in 1848. After studying pharmacology at the University of Edinburgh, he and his brothers immigrated to Chicago around 1868. I can’t say why, but I surmise they were victims of the Highland Clearances, efforts by ... Read More »

Chike Nwoffiah

Chike Nwoffiah was one of 8 featured storytellers at the Media Center’s salon called “Foreign Correspondents: Immigrant Odysseys.” His story, recorded in this 10 minute video, is “Reflections of a Nigerian American: A Third Identity.” Chike is an adjunct professor at Menlo College, director of plays and films, and founder of the Oriki Theater in Mountain View. Read More »

Vanessa Sandoval

  Vanessa tells her family immigration story from Mexico and the value she places on education.  Her father was a miner in Bishop, CA.   Read More »

Undocumented Undergraduate

In this season of my life, I am a freshmen undergraduate student at a university in California. Like the typical undergraduate, I live in a dorm room and often stay up ungodly hours of the night typing away term papers like the rest of them. At my university, I am just your average nineteen-year-old, freshmen girl fulfilling her educational requirements. ... Read More »

Ingeborg Baehr Hirschhorn

My mother was born in Germany in 1927. Her dad was a dentist and her mom was a housewife. They lived in Bamburg and had a nice, comfortable, multi-story house. With the rise of Hitler, things became increasingly worse for her family. Mom, along with all the other Jewish kids in the Catholic school she attended, was thrown out of ... Read More »

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