Category Archives: Northwest

Kindness, Gratitude and Power To Change Lives (Philippines)

Mylene Madrid is a first-generation immigrant from the Philippines who arrived in the U.S. when she was nine with her mother and two sisters. Her kindness, compassion, and motivation to make the U.S. a safe and welcoming place for communities that are struggling for a new beginning in this country is both inspiring and relatable.  Mylene’s father first arrived in ... Read More »

Vietnamese Family After Escape Gets Sponsored by Church

When Lang opened the door to her new home, she found the house fully furnished, the refrigerator and cupboards stocked with Vietnamese food, rice, bowls, even chopsticks!  The church would take turns sitting with the kids whenever they went to ESL classes, even giving them a ride to the classes. Back in Vietnam, “we lived a very good life,” said ... Read More »

Leaving Tonga Behind

“After miles of walking and restless nights, we finally came to a stop.” This is the story of how my dad and my mom had to leave their home. Tonga, a place where there is peace and hardly any violence. People would wake up to the sound of singing birds and a beautiful view of the beach and the sun ... Read More »

The Great Escape (Viet Nam)

Quy Lee tells a gripping story of his escape by boat from Viet Nam, along with 264 passengers he took along. Also, time in a Malaysian Refugee Camp, followed by a new life in the USA. Quy was part of a storytelling event called “When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Stories of Escape and Refuge.” It was co-sponsored by the ... Read More »

Journey In The 80’s (Mexico)

Rodolfo Vazquez was a kid, in a family of three boys and two girls.  He grew up in Sonora, Mexico in the city of Obregon. At the age of 15, he started to work with his dad, helping him building houses near his house.  That’s how Rodolfo started to get experience in building structures. At the age of 19, he ... Read More »

Story of Cecil Flora (Italy)

By 1920, almost two million Italians immigrated to the United States in search of the American Dream. My great-grandfather, Cecil and his family were five of the thousands coming from Southern Italy. To learn more about my family’s introduction to America, I went to my grandma, Tomasina Flora. She is Cecil’s oldest daughter and has always enjoyed telling all of ... Read More »

The Unknown Destiny

“I’m not an immigrant of the United States. I consider myself part of the brain drain, I came here simply for my education, expecting to return home.” My grandmother, Rita Tabourian, grew up in Beirut, Lebanon and attended school at the American University of Beirut. “My mother gave me the same opportunities she gave her son. She raised me to ... Read More »

Escaping Post-War Vietnam

“We left our house with our small bag to go to the cargo ship knowing that I may never see my house again, and that we could be shot for walking the streets during the curfew.” My uncle Tai was born and grew up in Cholon. Cholon was a district of Saigon which was the capital of old South Vietnam. ... Read More »

Huey Leong

In the early 1900s, my great grandpa smuggled himself in a boat, hiding from the authorities, coming to America, not knowing what his future held, in a foreign land thousands of miles from his family. My great grandpa, Huey Leong, was born in Canton, China, a period of many cultural uprisings. Huey felt that his life was unfulfilled, and was ... Read More »

Freedom’s Call (Korea)

Focusing on improving his golf game and visiting family, Jack Jhin lives his life relaxed. At 81, Jack has been through countless tales, both wonderful and terrible experiences. For this story, he recalls his journey to America and his life there as a first-generation immigrant. Growing up in Seoul, South Korea, Jack Jhin was very fortunate. Coming from a family ... Read More »