Jessica J.







My name is Jessica Jin. Today, I want to share my story of how I overcame difficulties through resilience, solidarity, and resistance.

I came to the U.S. 32 years ago with my family when I was 15 years old. My first stop in the U.S. became my forever home. I knew nothing about English, and it was my first time seeing people of different races. This was an exciting yet scary experience. The high school I attended in San Francisco offered little assistance for English as a Second Language (ESL) learners. I learned most of my English from friends. Sadly, facing discrimination as an Asian and an ESL student was common and became normalized. I was too afraid to fight back.

Attending college was a tough prospect in 1992, especially for someone like me. Working became my only option after high school. I started at a Chinese bakery in an area called Little Chinatown, Sunset, and slowly adapted to American society. I vividly remembered an incident where someone stole an entire tray of loaf cakes while I was the only one on shift. I screamed for help, and with the assistance of the community members, we caught the thief and called the police. The police only gave a warning since the thief was homeless, but if the community hadn’t stepped up, the thief wouldn’t have been caught. After this incident, the police began regularly checking the area. This experience of community solidarity gave me faith that I can trust the community.

Later, I helped my aunt file a court report against a tenant who had destroyed her property. Surprisingly, we won the case without a lawyer. This was meaningful to me because, as immigrants, hiring an attorney can be tough and expensive. We need to protect our rights when necessary and stand firm in the face of adversity.

As part of the AAPI community, we must come together and fight for our rights!

Picture: I would like to share a picture of myself picking up fruit! After many years of overcoming all difficulties, I’d like to show how fruitful and happy my life has been!