Immigrants Of The Week: Kiki Vo, Samuel Dalembert, and Ingacia Moya
Immigrant of the Day: Kiki Vo (Viet Nam)
Especially in these times, it was nice to read an inspirational story about an immigrant in my local paper, the Sacramento Bee. Kiki Vo has endured and is pursuing nothing less than the American Dream . She excels in high school in Sacramento and has been accepted to the University of California, Berkeley (GO BEARS!), and honored by local organizations for her volunteer work.
Vo, 18, was badly burned in a house fire that killed her mother and scarred two of her sisters nine years ago in Vietnam. Vo and two of her sisters needed extensive medical care for their burns, care that was too costly in Vietnam. A nonprofit organization paid for her father, Chu Vo, to take three of his daughters to a Shriners hospital in Boston. Chu and three of his daughters moved to Sacramento in 2004 to be seen at Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California. Thuong, 12, Nhi, 17, and Kiki would undergo more than 60 surgeries, which Shriners hospital provided at no cost.
Chu, who worked long hours doing odd jobs like landscaping, stressed to his daughters the need to focus on their education. He tucked away as much money as he could so he could send the girls to college. Then Chu Vo got sick. He died Nov. 10.
The Vo sisters were split up among two families. Nhu, Thuong and Nhan live in Elk Grove and Kiki and Nhi live in Rosemont. Kiki, Nhi and Nhan all attend West Campus. The five girls see each other on Sundays at church. They live off donations of food, clothes and money.
UC Berkeley is Kiki Vo's dream Two firefighters in Martinez agreed to take in the girls. They can be together under one roof again this summer. Kiki is hoping she will be living nearby in Berkeley while attending Cal.
Immigrant of the Day: Samuel Dalembert (Haiti)
PHOTO COURTESY OF NBA.COM
Immigrant of the Day: Ingacia Moya (Mexico) -- A Naturalized U.S. Citizen at 106!
There appear to be only two or three other people who were older than Moya when they became U.S. citizens. The oldest was a 117-year-old woman from Turkey.
Kevin R. Johnson is currently Dean, Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies, and the Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Law Chair holder at the University of California at Davis. He is also one of the editors of ImmigrationProf Blog.
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.