"From Chicago to Washington: The Story of an Immigrant Child" by John H. Kim, Chief of Staff, The Annie E. Casey Foundation

My earliest recollection is of a very small and dingy apartment in Chicago that my father had prepared for his family’s arrival. He had immigrated to the U.S. in 1973 without his family in order to secure a better life for his pregnant wife and two young daughters. He was prompted to make this bold move after losing his life savings to a fraudulent bank that had promised high interest on the money that he and my mother had saved through years of scrimping on even the basics. I wasn’t born yet when my father left for the United States, and my meeting with him at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport in 1976 was the first time he laid eyes on his son. As a three-year-old, I was naturally afraid and weary of this strange man, but we drove to this small apartment in Chicago as a complete family determined to live a better life in the United States.

As a child of immigrants and as an immigrant myself (albeit a very young one), I understood that we were here in this new country for a very specific purpose. For my parents, their goal was to build a better life for their three children. For me and my sisters, our goal was to take advantage of this new land, to achieve what our parents couldn’t in their own lives, all while helping our parents maneuver this strange land. The isolation and fears that my parents felt as immigrants were things that we were supposed to rise above and their struggles were supposed to end with their generation.

Additional Info

Read 7838 times Last modified on Thursday, 01 August 2013 11:26


© 2012 -2019 Korean American Database, Inc.
Designed and Maintained by Internet E-Business, LLC.