Before I came to America, I knew just two words in English: “hello” and “apple.”
I lived in Ukraine. I worked as accountant.
I never planned to come to America — I didn’t want to leave my father. When he passed away, my mother said, “Now, you’re free.”
In America, there are very much more opportunities. If you have some ideas in this country, the ideas can live. In Ukraine, it’s hard to open business.
I understood it would be hard in America. It was very hard to find a job at first.
But it depends who is around you. Some people won’t help you. They just push you down. When you would like to fly like a bird, they cut your wings.
I did have help, thank you, God. People here are helpful. They give everything they can. It’s very touching.
And I push myself. It’s my problem if after 11 years here I don’t know English. So I study.
I stay positive. For me, it is important. I’m a single mom — I have to care for my son, care for my mom. I work in accounting, I clean houses, and I do other jobs. I try to improve my English.
In one class, I learned about the history of World War II. So many American people died in the war. I know America helped us, but I didn’t know how much. And they gave food, clothes, everything. If they didn’t help …
Thank you, American people, for that.
Y. arrived in the United States in June, 2006 after winning a “visa lottery” in Ukraine. She has helped many friends apply for green cards, including her mother.