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David Lenzi

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David Lenzi moved to the United States from Canada as young man for better educational opportunities in the scientific communities. He embraces the US's diversity and believes that distinctions shouldn't be made between immigrants and "natives" (except for Native Americans).

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0:02:18

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Please contact Immigration History Research Center staff for permissions not covered by this Creative Commons license.

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My father, David Lenzi, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1964. He moved to Montreal, Quebec, Canada at a very young age. He has lived in many places like France, California, Oregon, Virginia, and California. In fifth grade, he moved to France because of his father’s sabbatical. His earliest memories include playing in the park across the street from his house in Montreal. One of his favorite childhood memories was when he had a competition with his sister on who could keep a grape in his mouth the longest. His favorite childhood toys were LEGOs and Hot Wheels. The oldest person he remembered as a child was his grandmother; he lived in Great Britain at the time.

When he first immigrated to the US, he had to renew his visa by driving up to the Canadian border and crossing back and forth. He said he found this very annoying. My father has completed 22 years of education both in Canada and the United States. Some of the reasons why my dad decided to immigrate to the US are better scientific education and more jobs. He also wanted to go to graduate school in the United States. At first, he found it difficult to learn how American society worked. To add, this was his first time living away from home. America turned out to be as expected though. One thing special he noticed was America's diversity in many ways. He met my mom, Miriam Goodman, in America. They built their careers and family here in California. One thing my dad wishes about America is that life would be better if everyone wasn't so divided. My dad notices that people in today's media make a silly distinction between immigrants now and the citizens of the US. If you aren't Native American, you or your family was or were an immigrant at some point. Some advice he gives to immigrants coming in today: work hard and contribute to your community.