A new life in America

By ROBERT LINNEHAN | The Haddonfield Sun
Standing at the podium several weeks ago at his high school graduation, Haddonfield Memorial High School salutatorian Chenxi Lin delivered a speech that reduced the graduation crowd to tears.
As onlookers wept, many didn’t realize that six years ago the eloquent young man couldn’t even speak English. Six years ago he wasn’t even in this country. Six years ago, he didn’t even know his parents.
The University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business-bound scholar wrapped up four years at HMHS, ending a six-year journey through the American school system. He always knew he was different from his fellow students, ever since he took his first steps onto American soil at the age of 11.
His parents, Zhaohui and Min, left him at the age of 2 with his grandparents in Suzhou, China, as they set off for New York City, hoping to establish themselves in America before sending for their oldest child. Only speaking with them by phone maybe once a week, Chenxi said it was hard to understand why his parents had left him at such a young age.
“I didn’t really have much of a recollection until I met them when I was 11. They sent me cards, birthday gifts, but that’s about it as far as my memory of them went. I didn’t really understand why they moved to America. It was difficult at a young age to grasp that concept,” he said. “They realized that America does have a lot more opportunities. For my future and for theirs, it was worth moving here to carve out a new life in America.”
See this week’s print edition of The Sun for the full story.

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