Category Archives: STORIES

Berenice Lai: Leaving Hong Kong Before It Changed Hands

Berenice Lai was born in mainland China and moved to Hong Kong with her brother and parents when she was eight years old. Her family’s living situation in Hong Kong was not comfortable. They shared one kitchen and one bathroom with ten other people, and her family of four shared a bedroom of around ninety square feet. A drug addict ... Read More »

Lelaine’s Opportunities After Leaving the Philippines

I was born and raised in the Philippines until my teen years, around the age of 15. My father died in a war when I was a baby. Growing up, I lived a lifestyle that was difficult for me to handle. I had four siblings… an older sister, a younger brother and two younger half-sisters. My mother was always busy, ... Read More »

An Immigration Success Story With Dinosaur Bones and Airplanes

My grandfather’s life started in jeopardy due to his premature birth and small size, which forced him to spend his first two weeks without his family in an incubator. My grandfather, Al Bien, was born in Beijing, China in 1934 where his home was in a “hutong” or alley. Following the beginning of the second Sino-Japanese war, his family moved ... Read More »

A Korean Exodus: Simon Park’s Travel to America

“In just four years in college, I got 26 gold medals!” Simon Park (name has been changed) looked at the people at the table before him in silence, expecting wonder and praise. “What, did you steal them from first graders?” The table, where Simon’s three sons and wife were sitting, burst into laughter, while he sighed. However, he was happy; ... Read More »

Finding Gold Within; Leaving China When It Looked Safe To Go

My parents were afraid to file the paperwork necessary to immigrate because if anything went wrong, they could be severely punished by the government. “Where is all the gold?” I thought as my preconceptions about America were shattered and I dejectedly peered out the plane window at the end of my eighteen-hour flight to America from my hometown, Taishan, a ... Read More »

From the Soviet Union to Palo Alto

It is 1975, and Russia was known as the Soviet Union, a strong, communist country that strictly limited Russians’ rights. Vlad was born in 1971 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, which was part of the USSR. Vlad (name changed by request) experienced significant hearing loss at the age of 9 months due to a high fever and his parents immediately decided that listening and ... Read More »

Lottery Winner from Taiwan

Living, in one of the largest populated cities in Hsinchu, Taiwan, Nancy Wu (name changed) and her husband worked in the high tech industry.  As a project manager, Nancy traveled abroad quite a bit.  She was able to compare some schools in other countries with those in Taiwan and preferred what she perceived as a greater emphasis on critical thinking and extra ... Read More »

Escape from Nazis; A Career as Tailor and Men’s Clothier

In 1938, a small humble family of Jews in Vienna, Austria, enjoyed their supper, but in a matter of seconds, their lives changed forever. A neighbor called them and told them to turn on their radio. They all listened closely to the static sound of the radio. Austrian President Wilhelm Miklas, announced that Hitler of Germany had given him an ... Read More »

Dr. Ravi Chandra – Establishing His Identity

Amrutha was born in a small village in Karnataka state in South India.  She was the fifth of seven siblings.  While growing up she always admired the local doctor, and long story short, became a physician, the first in her family to attend college.  She married, and had a son named Ravi Chandra. Amrutha and Ravi immigrated to the US, ... Read More »

Math Professor’s Family Leaves Germany as Hitler Rises

Veronica Tincher’s parents, Gabor and Ann Szego were Hungarian Jews.  Her mother was born in Budapest and her father came from a smaller town, Kunhegyes. Gabor Szego, her father was a bright mathematician and professor in Hungary. Both were very accomplished – her mother a successful doctor of Chemistry, writer, and interpreter in more than three languages and her father finishing his PhD in ... Read More »

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