Category Archives: 1975 – 2000

Winter Russia to Sunny California 

              Jumping through a train window, scared that it was going to leave without his brother making it through, Arthur Abezgauz was a teenage immigrant fleeing Russia in  the 1980’s with his family due to religious persecution. Their plan to make it to New York  wasn’t so simple. He explained, my grandmother had met ... Read More »

South Korean Moves to NYC and Succeeds as Accountant and Mother

Jungha Kim immigrated from Busan, South Korea in 1995.  After many years in New York City she lives in Palo Alto with her husband and daughter. 1) How was your life in South Korea?  When I was three years old, my family moved to Japan  because of my father’s business. During that time, I went to pre-school in Japan and  ... Read More »

The Invisible Backpack; DACA Makes a Huge Difference

        Where do you come from/ where were you born?  “I was born in 1987 within Mexico City, in a town called Nezahualcoyotl. I  was born two years after the massive earthquake.” “I came here when I was really young. I migrated to the U.S. when I was  six and have very few memories of Mexico, but ... Read More »

A Dual Citizen’s Life of Family, Freedoms, and Change (India)

At age 81, Vimala Vajjhala (maiden name Bhagavatula) has experienced the wonders and difficulties of two vastly different nations, living as a dual citizen of India and the United States. Brought up in a small village called Bobbili in South India, Vimala described a simple but enjoyable life. (6 sisters, 1 brother)  Her family impressed social values of obedience, work, ... Read More »

Advanced Degree Leads to Immigration for Iranian-American

        Mansour Moussavian, immigrated from Iran after getting an advanced degree at Stanford. Why did you leave Iran?  “I left Iran for education, advanced education in England. I then came to California to pursue  graduate studies at Stanford. Then I got a job after graduation and decided to stay because I liked the job and the location”. ... Read More »

Immigrant Who Fled Vietnam and Became a Teacher

Kim Hoang Miller is a 73 year old US immigrant from Vietnam who lives in Sacramento.  She fled Vietnam in 1975. Was your family born in Vietnam?  Yes, majority of my family was from Saigon, Vietnam. I had grandparents, mother, father, six  brothers, 2 sisters and many cousins. Did you suffer from poverty?  Yes, my family was very poor and ... Read More »

A Nurse from the Philippines

My mother, Marigold Suico (née Villaroya), was born on November 7, 1968 in a small town called Cagayan de Oro in the Philippines. Her father was an attorney and her mother was a stay at home. My mother’s story was slightly unconventional compared to the other immigrant stories I’ve heard about. By comparison to her life in the United States, ... Read More »

Ethnic Minorities Leave Burma

My neighbor grew up in Burma (Myanmar) in a time of political instability.  He later went into northern Thailand with his family at the age of fifteen. He was able to come to the US on a student visa to attend college in southern California. After college he moved to San Francisco to be with his brother.  His brother had ... Read More »

Pivoting With Changing Times (Ireland)

In the words of my dad, “I was born in Dublin, raised in Cork, educated in Tipperary, and exported before the age of eighteen.” He actually had a rather difficult childhood in that he was expected to grow up early. He took a city bus by himself to school at the age of four and went away to boarding school ... Read More »

Leaving Urban Poverty (Mexico)

  Brian Martinez (name has been changed) lived in Mexico City; it was a busy city – no place for a child to grow up. There were no backyards, no playgrounds. Crime was recurrent; it was dangerous for anyone, but especially unsafe for children. School was overcrowded and underfunded. With metal walls, it was like walking into ashed- stuffy and ... Read More »