Category Archives: California

Caretaker from Indonesia

Introduction:  This project inspired me to learn more deeply about one of the people that has become such a massive help to my family over the past few years. Bridget came into my family’s lives when my grandfather was diagnosed with dementia. She is one of two full-time caregivers but has also become a symbolic member of the family. While ... Read More »

Emigration from Ethiopia

What was your life like in Ethiopia? Saba (name changed) was born in 1982 to loving parents in the capital city of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. The city name, translated from Amharic (the official language of Ethiopia) to English means new flower. The city name is apropos as Saba’s essence reminds me of a new flower by shedding beauty and ... Read More »

Homesick But Found an Income (India)

Khushwinder (name changed for anonymity) was happy to talk about his life. He said “I am feeling like a celebrity doing this interview. Nobody has interviewed me before. I am feeling very special.” I was also happy to see him ready for this interview. Then I asked him how his family was and where he belonged from. He started talking ... Read More »

Refugee Family From Laos Start Grocery Store

My family had to flee Laos which at the time when it was a war torn country. At that time my father planned the best escape that he could under the circumstances. You see we were a family of five with three children under the age of four. None of the groups wanted to wait so long because no one ... Read More »

Engineer with Hong Kong Roots at County Building Dept.

Tom Chiu is a first-generation immigrant who has lived in the Bay Area for more than 40 years. He is currently a resident of San Jose. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Chiu came to the U.S. on a F1 student Visa after graduating from high school.  Tom later graduated from San José State University. His career path has been ... Read More »

Hair Salon Owner Who Empowers Others (Mexico)

Herlinda Zavala’s story is one of passion and determination captured both in her personality and how she maintains her small business in cosmetology while also giving back to her community, family, and friends.  Zavala lives in San Jose, California and migrated to the United States from Zapotitlán Jalisco, Mexico at the age of ten with her family via a temporary ... Read More »

Community Organizer with Roots in Portugal

              Carlos Da Silva is a humble man who is proud of the work he and his family have done here in Santa Clara County, including actively supporting and contributing to the Portuguese community. As a nine-year-old child, Carlos came to the U.S. from Portugal with his parents in the 1950s.  In Portugal, Carlos’s family owned ... Read More »

Guatemalan Child Grows Up and Becomes County Prosecutor

Some folks become lawyers because it is a profession that runs in the family, others find their way into the legal field through a different path. Byron Abraham Suarez, Deputy District Attorney for the County of Santa Clara, remembers that he and his sister served as translators for their parents, like many immigrant children, both even trying to explain contracts and ... Read More »

“Brown Immigrant Girl Whose Presence Can’t Be Ignored”

            Teresa Marquez’s story is one of hope, inspiration and hard work. She has been with East Side Union High School District for twenty-six years. As Associate Superintendent of Educational Services at East Side Union High School District, she is the highest-ranking Latina in the District who paves the way for opportunities in the public education field for other ... Read More »

Strong Willed and Thriving (Laos)

Robert is a first-generation Laotian refugee who has reached his American Dream of owning his home, being active in his children’s lives and saving for his children’s future. He has overcome many obstacles in order to be where he is now–working as a Chief Of Construction Services. He began his journey here in San Jose, where he attended primary schooling and then started working when he was ... Read More »