Senior Brand Strategist at Cincinnati Bell
Founder and Current Chair of the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Cultural Exchange Association
My husband and I came to the U. S. for graduate studies in 1999, and I became an American citizen in 2016. Growing up, I never thought of immigrating to another country. I completed my college education in China and decided to pursue graduate studies in the U. S. because American universities were known for their academic excellence and the country was perceived as a beacon for freedom and democracy. The Chinese of my generation admired the U.S. as a country exemplary of diversity, tolerance, justice, and prosperity. It’s known to attract talents from all over the world and value each individual’s talent and ideas, and I was eager to embrace that experience. My husband and I were big believers in freedom, democracy, and equal opportunities. It was not an easy decision for us to leave our families behind, but we hoped to achieve a brighter future for ourselves and our children in the US.
Love your neighbor as yourself. That’s one of the most important commandments to me as a Christian. Once the immigrants and refugees are in our region, they are literally our neighbors. I can’t help emphasize enough how important it is to welcome our new neighbors. As an immigrant myself, I have experience living in a welcoming neighborhood. We received gifts from our neighbors and HOA in the first week of move in, we have neighbors who will offer to watch our children when needed, and we have a number of social activities to keep our neighbors connected. We simply feel at home here and will do everything to strengthen the community. We want to be better and do better for our neighborhood. We also lived in a less welcoming community, where our neighbors avoided eye contact and kids didn’t even play with each other. We felt very isolated and eventually decided to move out of that neighborhood. Welcoming immigrants and refugees to the Cincinnati region is to help the community stay united