Category Archives: California

Rafa: An Ordinary Tale By No Standards

I’ll come to you in six more years and instead of a bike, I will have a car. Instead of a room, I will have a house, and instead of having to do odd jobs, I will speak English well enough to be a manager of some place. “My story is just like anyone else’s who came to this country ... Read More »

Vincenzo Cortese

The apricot trees in Santa Clara Valley have been planted and watered to flourish into a fruitful county. The nutrients of the soil in which these trees were rooted remain plentiful in the legacy of Vincenzo Cortese. In the year 1911,  thirteen-year-old Vincenzo Cortese followed his father and older brother to Chicago alongside his mother and sister. The journey from ... Read More »

Alice Lung

Alice Lung was born in Taiwan. She moved to the United States in 1979 when she was 15 years old, because her parents wanted her and her two sisters to have a better education. Once their family arrived in America, they settled in Hayward, CA. Though she had learned some English at school in Taiwan, she found the transition difficult ... Read More »

Ivan (John) and Sarahfina’s 10 year odyssey

My Grandma and Grandpa decided to leave Simbirsk, Russia and begin a new life in the United States. They started their emigration from Simbursk in Oct. 1900 traveling through Siberia to China. Eventually they left Harbin Manchuria China, with John (Ivan), their only surviving child, and made their way to Kobe, Japan. In March of 1910 – 10 years since ... Read More »

Jia Qin

Jia is a recent immigrant studying English at the San Mateo Adult School. She came from China, near Beijing, and while she immediately appreciated the cleaner air and the beautiful Pacific, she felt lonely. Making friends with classmates has made a big difference in her life. View her video on the web site post. Read More »

Nicole Cheng

Nicole is a recent immigrant from Taiwan who is studying English at the San Mateo Adult School. Watch her talk about her new life on the video that is embedded into the post on our Made Into America web site. Read More »

Minako Sano.

I was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, and came to live in the United States in 1955. My immigration status then was “spouse of an American Citizen.” I studied English at a women’s college in Tokyo known for its excellent English studies program, and after graduation, I worked as interpreter/translator for the occupation personnel under General MacArthur in Tokyo ... Read More »

Miki Ohno

A calligraphy teacher from Japan is beginning a new life in the U.S. She spoke from her ESL class at the San Mateo Adult School. Watch the video clip below. Read More »

Kansen Chu

He wasn’t always San Jose City Councilmember Kansen Chu. When he arrived in the States, he had been Kansen Chu the engineer and then Kansen Chu the waiter. Though he grew up in Taiwan and attended the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology with a major in electrical engineering, his parents and two brothers had followed his uncle to ... Read More »

Maral Haddeland

Maral Haddeland lived in Quebec, Canada, outside Montreal. She lived with her mother and father, two brothers, and one sister. Her family owned a dairy farm and sold milk from their 50 cows. Her dad was a farmer and worked with the hired workmen to keep the farm going, though everybody pitched in with helping on the farm. Maral’s family ... Read More »

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