This was what my husband posted on his facebook page earlier today.

35 years ago (around 6 am on December 1, 1979), my father and I arrived to the US (New Jersey) as political refugees from South Vietnam. We started our new lives in America with $10, a pair of pants, torn t-shirts, and beach sandals. I was 14, spoke no English, and had to make life changing adjustments instantly.

I was lucky to have met many wonderful and kind people who helped me over the years. I also had to endure plenty of racism and discrimination. But I rarely talked about this and never allowed small minded people to hold me back. I just smiled each time, kept my head high, and continued to move forward.

At age 22, I turned down a big corporate job offer and instead opened my first company with a loan from the bank. During these past 35 years, I enjoyed many successes, along with plenty of failures. But with each setback, I was more motivated, more determined, and worked even harder to right the ship.

Today, I try to share with my students at Webster University my life experience, on and off the chess board. I want them to understand and believe that if they want something bad enough, and are willing to put in the hard work, they will make it happen. I want them to never squander opportunities.

This picture (of my father and I) was taken on a small island in Indonesia, about a week before our political refugee status was accepted by the US government. Behind us was the 2nd boat (the first one went to the bottom of the sea) which took us from Malaysia to Indonesia.

This was one of a few interviews I agreed to do over the years:

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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