Portfolio > This Is My Home: Stories of First Generation Immigrants

Linh Dang
Linh Dang
2017

LINH DANG SHIELDS was born in Cholon, Vietnam in 1947, but is ethnically Chinese. Shields is highly educated and speaks five languages: French, English, Teo-Chow, Mandarin and Cantonese. Her circuitous route to the US was a long one, and having studied French in school, she initially left Vietnam for Cote D’Ivore, Africa. She stayed there for a few months before moving to France for almost two years, but neither of those countries felt like they could ever become her home. Shields finally came to the United States, joining her parents and sister in Seattle in December of 1982, just a few days before Christmas. “I got on the bus and the driver said, ‘Merry Christmas!,’ and the way he said it,” she recalls, “was just so warm. I knew that I was home.”
With her education, she was able to find a job as an employment counselor helping other people find work. “I always grew up wanting to help people,” Shields explains, “and I knew I wanted a socially engaged job.”