(pt. 1: Rukhsana) “Working with kids is my passion, but I never thought that I would work in a childcare center in the U.S.A..
In 2009 I moved to America from Pakistan because I married a U.S. citizen who was from Pakistan too. That is honestly the only way to move to the U.S., if you marry a U.S. citizen, or if you are going to college or you are studying here. Otherwise it is pretty hard [to get citizenship]. It was a little hard to adjust, because my whole family still lived in Pakistan. Before I came here, I was working as a teacher in a school. I have a bachelor’s degree in education [from Pakistan].
The biggest difference [in the U.S.] was the language barrier. English is my second language, so I tried to overcome this difficulty. [Moving] was so hard because it was the first time that I moved to a different country without my parents. I was feeling a lot of homesickness.
In 2013 I started my career as a food service assistant in a Portland Public School, but I wanted to work with kids so I started looking for a job in childcare. Finally I got my job at the YMCA. This job is a good fit for me to show my skills and experience.
One thing I want to say is that during my journey, people in the U.S.A. helped me a lot. My new friends here and my coworkers... Everybody helped me and I have learned a lot. I also want to thank my trimet bus driver because they help me get to my job. [I asked “Have you ever encountered racism based on your nationality or your skin color?”] No, never. And that is the thing that makes me strong.” #immigrantsmakeamericagreat #immigrantswelcome #americanimmigrant (This is a project that I have been working on for the past few months, inspired by @humansofny . I'm interested in expanding this short project into something larger, so feel free to contact me if you are an American immigrant and you want to tell your story!)