Category Archives: Came from

Lester Torok (Hungary)

My Grandma was a spoiled brat. When she graduated high school she demanded her father to buy her a fur coat. Lester Torok, my great grandfather- who I unfortunately never had the honor to meet- immigrated from Hungary when he was a young boy. He came with his mother and two siblings. My grandma told me his story to the ... Read More »

Arthur Kinyanjui

Upon his arrival to the United States of America, one of Arthur Kinyanjui’s many curiosities involved a McDonald’s drive-thru. The Kenyan native was shocked at the sight of his host speaking into a black box that projected voice. “Microphone?” he laughs today. “That was a big one.” Although Arthur had been born and raised in Central Province, one of Kenya’s ... Read More »

Businessman’s Visa Brings New Immigrants (China)

My grandparents soon discovered a unique social network in which they met most of their closest friends – group dancing at Mar Vista park every morning. Waking up early to attend the group dances remained their daily routine throughout the years. Being able to achieve the American dream, the idea of equal opportunity for success among all, is the dream ... Read More »

Looking to the Future (Germany)

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “America is another name for opportunity”. My grandmother, Marianne Kramer, believed this as well. She is a strong woman who came to America for the purpose of opportunity. She was the first person in my entire family to come to America and make a living here. Life for Marianne in Bremen, Germany was pleasant, she ... Read More »

Kimiko – Japanese Hidden Within

  Sirens blaring, fighter planes soaring, and the cries of thousands, this was the everyday life and struggles of Japanese men, women, and children. It was a life filled with bombings, hunger, and loneliness. My grandmother, Kimiko, was just five years old when World War II broke out. It was one filled with terror and misery, a world in which ... Read More »

Hideo Tomoyasu – Japanese American Experience

  Being an American doesn’t mean you’re a citizen, it’s a feeling. It’s faith, believing in your country, supporting it through good and bad, and paying your duty. When you have that, nobody can touch you. I interviewed my mother in order to learn about my grandfather, Hideo Tomoyasu, and his immigration to Hawaii.  My grandfather was born in 1920 ... Read More »

Russian Healer and Hero

  Screaming filled the streets, as communist soldiers pushed down innocent civilians. Above the chaos was a vast dark sky that stretched high over the rolling mountain ranges of Russia. The country was distraught, Tsar Nicholas II had just lost his power and revolutions had begun. Not a single person was safe from the aggressive soldiers of the Communist Party. ... Read More »

Escaping Poverty in Guerrero (Mexico)

          She and her companions walked for three days. They were without food, but they continued to walk- both out of motivation for the new life they were embarking upon and also out of fear of being caught and sent to a detention center, as she had been twice before. But her life in Mexico had ... Read More »

Marisol Perez (Venezuela)

Marisol Perez met her future husband, Arturo, literally by accident. She could not have known at the time how greatly that incident would soon impact her life. During a mountain biking event near her home in Venezuela, a strong wind knocked Arturo’s bike into Marisol’s, landing her in the hospital. As her recovery began, so too did their relationship and ... Read More »

Journey to Safety and Freedom

                  Evelyn Loeb Beilenson immigrated to the United States in 1941 during World War II. She came on a ship from Lisbon, Portugal as a three-year-old to New York City, but her family was originally from Mutterstadt, a small agricultural town in the Rhineland-Palatinate region in Southwest Germany.         ... Read More »

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