By Emilie M.
Grade 4, Maryland
Country of Origin: Russia

Why do people immigrate?
What is an immigrant, you might ask? An immigrant is someone who comes from one country to enter another. There are many reasons why people might immigrate. For example: war, not being able to worship your own religion, poor living conditions, and more. America is known as the land of the free too many people.
What was her journey to America like?
To learn more about immigration, I decided to interview an immigrant. Her name is Elena Pavlovski. She came from Russia when she was 19, and this year she will be celebrating her 20th year of being in America. Elena says this means she is about 25 years old now. Elena came to America alone. Leaving her friends and family was extremely hard for her to do. She still misses them very much.
What was her first impression of America?
Elena took a plane to New York and then took a connecting flight to Baltimore. She went to Baltimore, because she had heard that there was an organization that helped immigrants. The organization put her with two other girls in an apartment, for which they did not have to pay for the first three months. After three months, Elena had to have a job and make enough money to pay for the apartment and other living expenses.
How does Elena assimilate, yet maintain what is important from their old country?
In order to learn English, Elena attended Baltimore City Community College. Then, two years later, she transferred to Catonsville Community College to take regular classes. Finally, she went to Towson University. While going to college in the morning, she worked as a waitress in the evening. After finishing Towson University, she met my dad; and soon, they fell in love and got married. My dad says that Elena is the smartest wife he could ever have. Also, when Elena married my dad, she kept her maiden name as her middle name. Her official name now is Elena Pavlovski Mooney but she prefers to use Pavlovski as her last name.
When I asked Elena to compare Russia and America she said it was hard to do. She says both countries have their “ups and downs”, both have things that can be improved, and things they should keep on doing. My mom still misses Russia, but is also glad to be here in America.

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