When I Got Here Podcast

Untold Immigrant Stories

Latest Podcast Episode

Kay and Venna (Philippines): A Simple Life

Kay and Venna (Philippines): A Simple Life

Kay and Venna Juperatum made a plan to come to the U.S. so they could support their parents in the Philippines. They left family and Kay’s career as a television and radio personality behind.

The When I Got Here Podcast - Untold Immigrant Stories from Literacy Achieves in Dallas, Texas.

Hosted by Byron Harris
Original music by John Wesley Gibson

Immigrants share inspiring personal stories of why they left their homelands, how they got to the U.S., and the lives they are making here.

They meet the challenges of a new land with determination, perseverance, resilience, and creativity.

Listeners will see America through their eyes and renew their appreciation for the land we love.

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Each year Literacy Achieves empowers hundreds of Dallas-area families by giving them the English literacy skills and self-confidence they need to become productive members of our community.

More Episodes

William (Rwanda): Miracle Man

William (Rwanda): Miracle Man

William Twayigize is a Hutu who miraculously survived horrific experiences as a refugee, a Tutsi prisoner, and a Nairobi street boy to complete an elite education and achieve a distinguished academic career. Full Transcript Byron Harris: Don't tell William Twayigize...

Jose (Cuba): Cigar Entrepreneur

Jose (Cuba): Cigar Entrepreneur

Jose Hernandez’s ambition to become a doctor in Cuba was thwarted. Hear how he came to the US and planted seeds that revived his grandfather’s business. Jose has grown it into a firm with international reach.

Arang: Different. Don’t Be Afraid.

Arang: Different. Don’t Be Afraid.

Arang Cistulli came to the US from South Korea as a very young child with her family. She grew up in a small Ohio town where her father was a medical doctor. Her story is bookended by prejudice she experienced as a child and by recent hate directed at Asian-Americans....

Mylinh: Resilient, Resourceful, Rejoicing

Mylinh: Resilient, Resourceful, Rejoicing

In 1979 Mylinh Luong left communist Vietnam with her father, mother, and four siblings in a crowded fishing boat. She was six years old. She vividly recalls the deprivation, squalor, and brutality of the journey and life in a Malaysian refugee camp. She knows what it...

Ana: A Girl from Gail

Ana: A Girl from Gail

Ana Arellanos was born in Mexico and came to Texas, undocumented, when she was five. She grew up in Gail, a small town in West Texas. Now, at age 34, she is a U.S. citizen and an immigration attorney. She knows the system from both sides. She wishes the whole country...

Big Al: The Price of Peace and Freedom

Big Al: The Price of Peace and Freedom

Ow-z (Aws) Al-Darkazali, known as “Big Al,” is an Iraqi dentist. At first euphoric over the ouster of Saddam Hussein, he grew so discouraged with the outcome that he gave up everything and left home to rebuild his life. After false starts in Cyprus and England he...

Alexandra: Immigrant, World Citizen

Alexandra: Immigrant, World Citizen

Alexandra Bacalao is an immigrant from Venezuela by way of Canada who came to the US as a schoolgirl. Now a physician and scientist, the podcast is the story of how she sees America through a complex matrix formed from the other countries where she’s lived, her...

Jabeen: Mothers, Children and Language

Jabeen: Mothers, Children and Language

Jabeen, a Pakistan-born woman watched her mother, who did not know English, struggle to the point of suicide in England. Jabeen’s own knowledge of English was essential to overcoming loneliness when she found herself without friends or family after immigrating to the...

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