In anticipation of the opening of Sharing the Miracle: Storytelling in our Immigrant City on December 14th, we will be highlighting a few stories from this exhibit. Within this space, we are celebrating the stories, struggles, successes, and life perspectives of twenty five people whose lives have been touched by immigration. These stories are of the neighbors, staff, volunteers, and family of the Education Alliance and the Manny Cantor Center.
I come from China, Beijing. I came because I liked America. I think that America is freedom, a democracy. I arrived in 1990 when I was 55.
I came to the Center because after I retired I had nothing to do. I’ve been coming for three years. I wanted to learn something. I wanted to improve my social life. I didn’t want to always get home with nothing to do, that’s not good. I think the senior center is very good for senior people. I can learn English, I can make friends, I can paint. It’s very good and the volunteers are very good. They give a lot of help.
I think most people immigrate because they think America has a good culture. I think it’s very important to have gratitude. Some people that come here complain – they want to change the system, want the American society to change for them, and I don’t think that’s good. You have to change yourself. Coming here is much better, and you have to respect the American values and the American customs. I think we must live with each other. We must understand each other and respect each other.