This story appears from our archives, dated October 30, 2009. Join us each week as we share a story from our archives, a story from our current enrollees, or a video to celebrate 40 years of service.
Ka Kit “Richard” Ng
Born February 1953, Shantou (Swatow) Canton, China
Arrived June 2008, San Francisco, California
I’m just a newcomer actually. I came here since last year – June of 2008. I came directly with my family, my wife and my daughter.
I had been visiting to the States several times. I just love the weather here. I love it. Because in Hong Kong, wet and hot. I just don’t feel comfortable.
In Hong Kong, I am working as a shop owner for a locksmith company. This kind of business depends very much on the property market. In the past 10 years, I think, my business maybe not very good. It’s not very stable. And then, at that time, I find out I can immigrate to the States. Then I feel, oh, that may be a good chance. Then make me closing down the shop and then immigrate to here, just like that.
I just worry about maybe difficult for me to get a job because in Hong Kong, we are not speak English often. I hire about 10 locksmiths. The locksmiths, most of them, they don’t know English. I can speak some English because all my customers, they are employees from overseas. So I have to communicate with them so I can get business.
When I arrived to the States, I feel completely different, even speaking English. It’s really different than Hong Kong English. Maybe our English is England English.
Sometimes, even a simple word, I cannot understand. Maybe they talking too fast. I don’t understand. I’m really scared of that, you see? So when I arrived, I thinking, “How can I get a job?” The English is not so good, and then I have no skills to do something. Even change a lock in Hong Kong, I’m not the one to do it.
One of my friends tell me that Self Help for the Elderly have this training program. So I will try. I’m lucky. You know why? Because I’m just 55 years old. If, otherwise, I’m not qualified to join this program, right? I’m 55 years old, so I can, I can! So I will try, just like that.
I am assistant property manager at Mercy Housing with NAPCA SCSEP. They move in, move out, annual re-certification, to maintain the work order, to collect the rent – actually, it’s quite a lot. I enjoy it. I keep learning. They train me for the paperwork. I’m in the training in Mercy Housing one year. They teach me. I learn quite a lot.
I think here it’s a big country. For me, I just feel very comfortable, satisfied. In this country, maybe give us more freedom. But since I’m new, I cannot explain too many things because I’m still looking. I’m still looking.
I won’t be going back. I will stay here. That is my last choice. I love it, I love it. Since now, I get a job, that is an extra bonus. At this moment, I feel happy. Sometimes, you need to know what is your situation. If you really want to get a job to support your living and people give you a chance, you must catch it. You must learn. You must work very hard. You must use your whole heart to do your training. Otherwise, no people can help you.
Richard’s story is one of many seniors seeking a new opportunity in the United States through employment and education, to support seniors like Richard, donate now to support the continuing mission of NAPCA.