Where are you from?

I’m from Yangzhou, China.

What was it like growing up?

When growing up I was always being told I need to study hard so I can go to college and find a decent job. I felt a lot of competition pressure and not much personal interest developing opportunity until I went to college in Beijing.

What brought you to Cleveland?

New opportunities and my husband is from Cleveland.

What were your first thoughts about coming to America? Did those change?

I came to United States is to build a happy family and that hasn’t changed.

What challenges did you face as an immigrant transitioning here? The challenges are/were language barriers, culture difference, different mindset/values, not easy to find a good job.

What is your occupation?

I’m working as a Mandarin Immersion Teacher at GALA.

How have other Clevelanders made you feel welcomed?

Our family and friends here are very kind and welcoming. We were invited to have dinner with them and they helped us to settle down at the first few weeks when we arrived here. Also my colleagues at GALA are very resourceful and knowledgeable helping me to know this area.

What traditions or customs do you continue to practice?

I speak Mandarin Chinese and celebrate Chinese holidays with my family and friends.

What do you love about Cleveland?

My family recently attended the Night Market in Cleveland. That was a great example to show Cleveland cares and supports different communities. Clevelanders present their culture in many ways. I like the diversity that all the immigrant ancestors have brought to Cleveland. Clevelanders are trying hard to keep their traditions so it can be passed down to their next generations. As an immigrant I value that very much. That is how we make the community colorful and rich. People feel their roots are here.

Why is it so important to welcome immigrants and refugees?

In my opinion immigrants and refugees can bring diversity that can benefit Cleveland in many ways.