I was 8 years old when I arrived with my family in the U.S. I was new to the country and new to the English language. We first lived in single room occupancy in Chinatown – all six of us including my three siblings. Eventually, we became a family of nine. At 10, I started to help my parents by running deliveries for a seamstress and at 15, I began babysitting for local families, including former CAA Executive Director, Kathy Fong-MacInnis. 

Meeting Kathy and getting introduced to the CAA extended community became critical to how my parents, my siblings, and I were able to overcome the many challenges we faced as immigrants. CAA helped connect us to resources and services, gave us opportunities to understand and participate in civic life, and provided us a space where we belonged. My journey is just one among countless stories of resilience and hope that CAA encounters daily. But to do this vital work, CAA needs you. CAA relies on the generosity of individuals like you and me to make a difference in the lives of immigrants. We can’t do it without you. 

As a first generation immigrant, I am proud to serve on the CAA Board, because I am passionate about CAA’s immigrant rights work. Now that I can, I also donate to CAA to pay it forward. And I am reaching out to you, as someone with a shared understanding of the immigrant experience, to see if you’ll join with me and CAA in its mission to empower and uplift those who are taking the journey we once walked.Will you join us?

Janine Zhu
CAA Board Member