My father immigrated from Guatemala when he was 19 to support his family back home. My mother, from El Salvador while fleeing the revolutionary war. They have worked hard, exceptionally hard, for me not to pursuit my dreams of joining the Peace Corps. This is a I considered filling out an application to join the Peace Corps straight after college but glad I waited. I have gained experience, but more importantly, I have matured mentally and emotionally and I am capable of understanding what it would require of me to leave my family, home, and career for two years and I am ready.
For many immigrant families moving into the U.S the culture shock is significant. Families can easily be overwhelmed by their need to fit into their new surroundings. This is especially true for children in these families. It is easy for children to get caught up in the American way of life, and that can cause the original culture to be forgotten. That is why the adults in these families have to enforce their native culture on their children, so the adults can make sure that those customs are not forgotten.
On my father’s first day in America, he was shoved into a compact 1-person apartment along with two other refugees and was merely granted $19 a week to accommodate for basic expenses, including food and transportation. Despite such desperate circumstances, he maintained an optimistic outlook, and while hard times were ahead, my father knew that new opportunities were also awaiting him in the land where the American Dream thrives. My father initially left Vietnam as a last desperate hope to escape Vietnam’s strict communist government, where a future of military service was inevitable for young boys, who came from families of lower social statuses. As an orphan, my father fell victim to poverty and suffered from food insecurity and insufficient
Reflecting on my development as a first-generation immigrant, I can attribute a large portion of my characteristics and aspirations to my experiences growing up and to the role model whom I have admired, my mother. More specifically, being exposed to the tireless work ethic of a single parent who had to overcome the dual pressures of assimilation and poverty has imparted in me a respect for the ideals of continual self-improvement and advancement. My mother’s sacrifices have always been to better our family’s situation and to provide me with the best education opportunities. Recognizing my mother’s hard worked and what she has given up for me, I put my best foot forward in every situation to honor her. Looking back at the hardships such as racial discrimination and language barriers my mother had to transcend, as
All first generation experiences in America have common grounds but have some differences. From the first Americans in the 1700s till current immigrants, which included the Irish, Germans, Africans, Chinese, Scandinavians, Hispanics, South Americans, etc; They all had to adjust to American culture, adjust to the way of life, and struggled financially and emotionally. Some improved their lives in society while others had it terrible. I can sort of relate to the emotional and financial pain like most immigrants, especially of my age. I’ve had the good times and the bad, but I’ve managed to pull through. My family came here for a better life like most immigrants. I didn’t know what culture was, even though my mother mentioned it sometimes. I didn’t know what race was, what America was, life and pretty much just how life works. I’ve been in America for almost fourteen years, switched schools eleven times and can’t count the amount of time I’ve moved apartment homes. I have even been religious, private, public, and charter schools. Schools that were predominately white, hispanic,
We observe today widescale human rights infringement of refugees and degradation of morality as individuals, including children, sit idle in war torn regions hoping for the chance to make a better life in America. Seeking protection, many brave and vulnerable individuals experience additional breaches of human rights as a consequence of mandatory detention. The United States holds in its hands the power to ensure all refugees are treated with dignity and regard for their basic human rights, and yet still struggles to assure the survival and the success of universal liberty due to xenophobia and bureaucratic interference. Unwilling to witness the continued undoing of human rights to which the United States has consistently been committed, this
When I was in third grade, I was diagnosed with a medical condition that required me to go to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh multiple times per month. It was boring, annoying, and sometimes painful. I never enjoyed going and that didn’t change as I got older. But when I just started going, I was very sick. Between the one hundred two-degree fever I had and the amount of blood they had to take out of me for tests, I felt miserable. Nothing there could comfort me. I was surrounded by white walls, and medical supplies in a room barely large enough for the bed and two chairs. This was before they built a new Children’s Hospital, though, which is filled with bright colors, beautiful murals with images of butterflies and flowers, and overall a more comfortable atmosphere.
Drip! Beep! Drip! Beep! I couldn’t believe it. I was in the hospital. I couldn’t perform basic tasks. Hours earlier I was running around screaming taking basic skills for granted. No one ever thinks walking is a blessing. I had burnt myself with hot oil/water. I couldn’t move my legs. I couldn’t move my hands. My family took me to the hospital and from there I was admitted as patient. As a little girl I was always very optimistic. Becoming a patient meant no more school and no more homework. As if a first grader had tons of homeworks. As one of the only children at the time of my stay, nurses were kind. They made sure I was always comfortable, they also gave me a ton of toys. During my stay, I relearned how to do the simplist of tasks again.
When I was seven, I asked my mom why she had come to America from Ethiopia. She told me that she had come so that I could have things that she didn’t, get the education she couldn’t, and see and do things she wouldn’t. I told her that I was going to make her proud and even though I was seven, I was stubborn, and set my goals high and worked hard. I will forever remember my mother crying as I got my college acceptance letters. Now, as a junior at Old Dominion College as an international affairs major, I’m setting to make her proud again.
I would wake up at 4:30 in the morning to make sure I got to school which was 38 minutes away from my home, and for my dad to still have time to get to work at 6:45. I would wait outside my elementary school for one hour after I got there, just so that the lunch ladies would open up the back door for me. He felt quite bad that I had to wait outside sometimes in the snow, but I always had a big coat on my shoulders, gloves, beanies, and fluffy socks to keep me warm when all he had to wear for work was a grey sweater that had a hole on the sleeve. Those times were some of the best times in my life with my dad. He would make me laugh all the way to school and tried not to make me feel ashamed of his old car, but I loved that car because it was ours. It wasn’t new, but it was ours. My mother worked so hard to provide everything for us. She worked the graveyard shift every day, and worked on the weekends, too. My brother and I hardly saw her. She would take us to my aunt’s house to eat because all we would have at home were beans for a couple months. My parents hid the fact that we weren’t doing so great economically for years; I never knew that all they ate was beans until two years ago; I didn’t realize how hard they worked for us until two years ago. I am so thankful to have them. I am so thankful to be their daughter, and I
As I walked out of the airport, unfamiliar faces surrounded me. I was beginning my first week in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere -Haiti. We rode in an open air box truck to where we would be staying, bouncing out of our seat with every bump along the way. I saw people washing dishes, bathing and going to the bathroom all within the same water source- while on ride to the compound. Throughout the week, children laughed and took many pictures with me. Walking into a village- there were homes made of cracked mud and broken sticks, fences made of garbage, and roofs made of metal tins. Seeing children with ripped clothes or no clothes at all; I felt so sad and confused. My team and I helped create a concrete slab for a garage and
Growing up with poverty always around is not an easy topic many people can wrap their heads around. Waking up in a run-down apartment and attending classes in bright red trailers outside of school were ideas the public tried to avoid but for me, that was reality. Raised in Bronx and then in a small town in the more suburban areas of Pennsylvania, my first priority was self-defense. After I had mastered the art of taekwondo, like any other asian kid, my focus was set on making money to further support my family. Our only source of income was from the local church my dad preached at and the little dry cleaners far from home where my mom spent her days aging. I forced my thirteen year old self to babysit, tutor, and to sell what I had to pitch
I jumped high and low like in the Kungfu movies, which I watch in from a crack hole in a wall. I leeped thought time capcal and went back to where my home lie. I jumped in the cloud where heaven lied. I lay on the cloud as I watch the sun go down. I fell countless time but I always got up. Yet nothing was mine but I own it all. I stood and watch the cloud in a beautiful sunny day. I stumbled and fell but I was never week. I feld the rain on my skin and I feld the cool wind on a hot, hot summer day. Now there 's only dream that can take be back to my childhood. Growing up in a refugee camp was a beautiful journey. I was too blind to see realty even thought it was creek on us. I didn 't have fancy house but for me my haut
A refugee is a person who has been forced to leave their home country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. There are many different types of refugees, these include refugees who are escaping war, social discrimination, racial discrimination, religious persecution, those who are seeking aid after a natural disaster, political unrest, and those who fear for their lives and the lives of their family. These people are given refugee status and are placed in designated refugee camps across the country where they are supposed to be cared for and educated, but this is not happening. Many of the countries only provide shelter for the refugees but do not provide the rest of the basic needs.