Earlier this month, a police graduation ceremony was held in New York City. Among the over 600 members of the 2016 graduating class was a 27-year-old Chinese policewoman.
Her name is He Xiaoying, and she successfully transformed herself from a soldier to a New York City police officer. In the audience at the graduation ceremony were her parents and two older brothers.
Following the ceremony, a smiling Xiaoying said: “I am very happy and very excited to start a new journey.”
She joined the U.S. army at age 25, but her mother was concerned about her safety, so she decided to instead train as a police officer.
“I have always wanted to help others; I may be influenced by my brothers. They are both policemen, and this is what I want to do. I want to change something, to help others, and this is my final choice. I am feeling happy,” said Xiaoying.
Xiaoying’s brother, He Zhifeng, is also a New York City police officer. He was wearing his uniform to congratulate his sister. “In fact, I had just graduated three months earlier, in a class before her. I have always wanted to serve the law enforcement agencies. It has been my dream to help the community,” said Zhifeng.
Her other brother, He Zhiliang, is a New York City firefighter. “I am very proud that she is my sister, and I used to be a police officer, but now I’m a firefighter,” he said.
Their parents moved from Guangzhou to Hong Kong, and then to New York City 30 years ago. They are happy to see their children’s achievements.
Xiaoying’s mother said: ” I am proud that they have chosen the work they like.”
“After integrating into the society, which helped them to grow, they are now in a position to serve society,” said Xiaoying’s father. A restaurant worker and taxi driver were some of the occupations that her father held to support his family over the past 30 years.
He Xiaoying’s father said: “We were rather poor, and our main focus was on their education, either traditional Chinese education or American education, but they are all important. While they were raised in Western culture, we preserved some traditional Chinese culture as well. That was my focus.”
He Xiaoying’s father believes that Chinese parents in Western society cannot use old concepts in the United States, where the important thing is independent thinking. He also encouraged new immigrants with language difficulties not to give up learning.
“Learning English is a very slow process. I made many mistakes. Even though it was slow, I tried to do it right. The main thing is not to be afraid. I know now that some newcomers have a lot of pressure to raise their children successfully.”
After working hard for 30 years, Xiaoying’s father finally witnessed the accomplishments of his children; he realizes that his American dream has come true.