In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month this May, here are some stories about teens' experiences immigrating to America. Teenage years are tough while navigating life and figuring out who you truly are, but that process is made even more difficult when you must leave your home behind for an unfamiliar place with different customs.
Immigrating from China to Brooklyn is tough on Kimberly's family as they must get by on little money in Girl in Translation. Kim must work in a sweatshop every night after spending her days striving to do well in school, while also figuring out how to balance her first crush with her family obligations.
Young is just a child when her family moves from Korea to America, a place she is told is heaven in A Step From Heaven. But she quickly learns that life in a new country is full of struggles to learn a new language and fit in at school. Her family also faces difficulties, as her father works two laborious jobs and becomes increasingly abusive.
A more fun, light-hearted look at immigration can be found in Fresh Off the Boat. Vicenza leaves behind a life of luxury in the Philippines for one of poverty in America. She is treated as an outcast at the snooty all-girl prep academy she attends on scholarship. Vi hopes wearing thrift-store cashmere sweaters will help her fit in and gain the attention from the super cute and super popular lacrosse player, Claude.