At the age of three, I went on an airplane with my grandparents — the first time for all of us — and flew 6,500 miles from Shanghai to Los Angeles. On the flight, we carried flowers and candy from our hometown for the pilots, as good-luck charms for a safe landing. Apparently, we were not the only ones who received this advice, as the trail of gifts extended out of the plane when we disembarked. My parents, who put aside all comfort and distractions in order to complete their American university degrees in record time, were there waiting for us in the baggage claim. We did not know what would be in store for us in the years ahead, but at least we were finally together again.
Like over 43 million other people in America, my family and I left everything we knew behind with the goal of creating a new life, chasing an ambitious dream. But also like every other immigrant, there was a daunting barrier in front of us that had nothing to do with getting the right degree or finding the right job. We had to navigate the complex, intimidating immigration process.
With one shot at starting a new life or reuniting a family, we all want someone to educate us, guide us, and give us confidence that we’re on the right track. Technology can complement the best human experts, making this process faster, clearer, and more affordable. We can empower immigrants with the information and tools they need to confidently take control of their journey. This is a big and complex challenge, and we are excited to take it on.
Nearly 30 years ago, my parents gave up everything so that I could have the opportunities I have today. And now, we have the privilege and obligation to help as many others as possible achieve their own dreams.