Author Archives: Dania Khan

Immigration Story of Veronica Rodriguez (Mexico)

The story of Veronica Rodriguez and her immigration to the U.S. starts in Abatzingan, Mexico. Veronica described her childhood saying “it was kinda rough, we had many hard times.” She lived in a small house with her mother, father, three sisters and four brothers. Veronica came from generations of poverty-stricken families and told of how hard her father worked to ... Read More »

Immigration Story of James Larkin (Ireland)

Filling the air of the living room with the unique smell of tobacco, James Larkin smokes his pipe as he reads the newspaper. His son-in-law, James Connors, asks him, “Want a whiskey Pops?” to which James Larkin nods in the affirmative. Wafting in from the kitchen is the smell of raisin bread, freshly baked by his daughter. This is 1940s ... Read More »

L’dor Vador (Ukraine)

It was a sunny afternoon in Los Feliz, California when my great-grandfather Avram Yitzhak Lehrer, fondly called “Opi” by his children and grandchildren, sat in his garage smoothing out the figures of his latest sculpture, “L’dor Vador,” meaning from generation to generation. In the sculpture, 19 figures stand with their arms around each other, radiating from a Torah (the Jewish ... Read More »

The Immigration story of Robert Johnston Carson (Ireland)

“Honk!” The foghorns call fades as it slips through the ears, and feet clamber unsteadily up the swaying dock towards the ship waiting beyond. The weak wood, barely held together through the metal spikes impaling them, cries out as it’s stressed. The salty breeze stings the eyes and rips through the sails, whipping the air. The breath hitches in the ... Read More »

From Desserts, to Fruits, to Family (Taiwan)

Taiwan, an island whose population is less than that of Shanghai, is the island where I grew up. I lived in the capital, Taipei, with my mom, father, and with my younger and older sisters. Life was enjoyable; my mom worked in the government and my father was a teacher, so financial issues were the least of my problems. I ... Read More »

Journey to the West (China)

On June 4th, 1989, Chinese troops stormed through Tiananmen Square in Beijing, killing students protesting for democracy. An estimated 10,000 civilians died when the Chinese government used violent repression in response to peaceful protest. The Chinese government, however, still denies that this event ever happened, and an entire generation of Chinese children lives unaware of this incident known as the ... Read More »

A Swiss Goes West

Who would have thought that my father, who had never truly been away from his parents, would move from Switzerland to the West Coast just to develop his independence? My father, Laurent Giovangrandi, was born and raised in Montagny-près-Yverdon, a small town somewhat close to Lausanne. He had one older brother, with whom he was close. He was close with ... Read More »

Immigration Story of Ernesto Cruz (El Salvador)

“One of the reasons why I appreciate this school and why I would do anything for this school is because they changed my life. They made my American dream.” Ernesto Cruz is the girls’ soccer coach and campus supervisor at Palo Alto High School. Cruz has been at this school since 2004. Cruz was born in El Salvador. He grew ... Read More »

Creating Something from the Ground Up (Taiwan)

Grace (name changed) looked back one more time at the busy street; constant chatter among the neighbors, markets further down the street, with a foul stench only magnified by the humid air, a place she once called home. She was about to embark on a new quest, to escape poverty in Taiwan and travel to America, where her father had ... Read More »

Halfway Around the World (India)

At the young age of 23, Shreya Acharya moved 7672 miles across the world from New Delhi, India to Stanford, California. Her soon-to-be fiancé, Vishal Acharya, was a graduate student at Stanford University at the time. While she had to leave her entire family behind in India, immigrating gave her the opportunity to start another one in the States. As ... Read More »

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