Nika’s Story

“Nika” Vagner came to New York in 1989 from Warsaw, Poland. In her Welcoming Story, Nika remembers the moment she first learned she was leaving home forever, how she felt in an American classroom before she spoke English and how a sit-com and a teacher had a lasting influence on her life to this day. 

Artist Doug Minkler presents his art work specifically to welcome immigrants. It is called “Bienvenidos.”

Watch this Welcoming Story by YouTube’s carolharveysf

A Welcoming Story from YiaYia

Uploaded onto YouTube by PhosPictures on Aug 16, 2010 

"Dedicated to my YiaYia (Grandmother) and all the immigrants that came to America leaving their homeland and families in search of a better life. To all the hopes and the dreams that traveled over the distant oceans, to all the families that have scattered across this new land, may we never forget each other. As my YiaYia says, ‘Opa!"


Directed / Edited: Eliot Rausch
Director of Photography: Matt B.Taylor
Music: Nana Mouskouri - Telalima

An 18 year old from Russia arrives in America. She knows no one here, her blunt English is a little too loud, and most of the students at her college aren’t well, impressed. See who helps Ilona find her American voice – and her way — in this Welcoming Story.

David’s Story

David learned everything about the US from watching The Jetsons during his childhood in Iran. When his uncle summoned him to Chicago, he found that some Americans really do live “in the sky.” Watch David’s Welcoming Story, shot in his home high above Manhattan.

Shaady recounts one of her earliest memories growing up as an Iranian in Cincinnati.

Mona’s Story

When Mona’s parents immigrated to the United States from Calcutta in 1971, her father’s best friend, Bishash, was there to pick them up at the airport. Through his funny, adventurous and extremely kind spirit, Mona’s parents discovered a powerful bond that would help embrace their new American world.
Watch her Welcoming Story.

A Welcoming Story from the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Dr. Judith A. Diers (ELCA) shares how welcoming has been a part of her family’s life ever since she could remember.

College was what brought Shuling from Singapore to the United States back in 2007. With her family still halfway around the world, she has her amazing friends here to thank for helping her feel at home, away from home.

Leila’s Story

At 17 Leila didn’t know exactly what she wanted, but she knew it wasn’t an arranged marriage in her native Kenya. Now a New York based restaurateur, Leila talks about who helped her get grounded in America and how certain encounters remind her how grateful she is to be here. Watch her Welcoming Story.

A DMV Welcome - by Saman Driver by way of her daughter, Sahar

"I was at the DMV and I met this older Iranian man who was waiting for someone to pick him up.

Read More

Welcoming Stories First Post!

Welcome to our Welcoming Stories.

Many have amazing stories to share. We hope to bring together these small acts of kindness, big-hearted moments and simple but life-changing connections and offer them back to you.

Submit your video, text, photos or drawings by clicking on button below and send us your welcoming story!