Silvia Moreyra Muñoz

Develop skills to be strong
and do good for others.

Sylvia Minoz

Silvia Moreyra Muñoz was a 30 year old attorney in Lima, Perú, when she left to live in Frederick. She wanted opportunities for her five-year-old son. Silvia learned English through the Literacy Council. It transformed her and Frederick has always supported her.

Silvia became a U.S. citizen in 2014. She is back in law school and helps parents communicate with teachers and professors.

Yewande A Oladeinde

Immigrants have unique needs.
Frederick is moving in the right direction,
but not fast enough.

Yewande A Oladeinde

Yewande Sofolahan Oladeinde was born in Lagos, Nigeria, in 1985. She speaks fluent English, Nigeria’s official language. Her parents valued education, and she came to the U.S. in 2003 to attend East Stroudsburg University. This was the first time she felt “different.”

Yewande earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology and completed her graduate studies in Behavioral Health at Penn State. She met her husband in Baltimore in 2007. Due to his internship at the National Cancer Institute, they fell in love with Frederick and moved here in 2013.

They have two boys, and she is a research analyst for the federal government in Baltimore. Frederick is very welcoming, but she worries about mothers who don’t have the resources and cannot speak English.

Chen Chiang

Chen Chiang

Chen Chiang turned 92 in 2020, and speaks minimal English. He left Taiwan, where he worked as a police officer, to join his sister in Maryland. His family soon followed.

In Hagerstown, he could find work only at Burger King, in 1974. Chen moved to Frederick in 1983 and decided to open his own business, now called China Garden. He wanted to share his passion for Asian cuisine with the community.

For years, China Garden placed #1 in Frederick Magazine’s “Best of the Best.”

He had a great team and wonderful customers who became friends. He taught his family to give back to the community. Chen loves to cook, feed people, and treat guests as family. One of his most enjoyable moments is to see multi generations dine in the restaurant.

China Garden had a fire in 2019, and the family hopes to reopen in the summer of 2021.

Memory Treasures

Chen Chiang was a police officer in Taiwan before he came to the U.S. This color photograph shows Chen in front of his restaurant China Garden in Frederick. This newspaper clipping from the Frederick News-Post announces the opening of China Garden, February 12, 1992.   (A detail of the article appears on click)

Detail of newspaper clipping

Andrea Zalaya

My dream is that my daughter can be a great woman.
In the U.S., that is possible.

Andrea Zalaya

Andrea Zalaya is from El Salvador. Her family was not wealthy, yet she never felt deprived. She experienced civil unrest, and that made her strong.

Her mother-in-law convinced Andrea, her husband, and their three-year-old daughter to move to Frederick. In 2014, Andrea divorced her husband and returned to El Salvador.

In 2017, she returned to Frederick to expand her daughter’s opportunities.

Andrea appreciates Frederick’s many cultures, old and new buildings, and seasons. Polite peoplemake her feel welcome. Her daughter has adapted well. Andrea makes sure that she celebrates her roots.

Andrea works at Centro Hispano, helping Hispanics with paperwork. She cleans houses on weekends.

Benjamin Chepkoit

Ben Chepkoit

Benjamin Chepkoit was born in Kabarnet, Kenya, in 1962. His father (Wilson, school principal), mother (Esther, housewife), and nine siblings spoke the tribal language, Kalenjin, and lived in the arid Kerio Valley. He tended goats and cows, gathered firewood, and fetched water 15 miles away.

After graduating from Kabarak High, Ben worked as a banker. In 1986, his village raised 186,000 Kenyan shillings ($1,860) to advance his education. He enrolled in  Southeastern University, Washington, D.C., in 1987, and lived in an apartment with his wife and three brothers. After earning a few Ph.D.s, he worked in the Washington, D.C. area, California, the Middle East, and Kenya. Ben and his family live in Frederick. He is CEO of his own companies, Optima Business, Shiloh Healthcare, and A Caring Place. He is a volunteer chairman of ASIS Community nonprofit that educates poor Kenyan youths.

Memory Treasures

Benjamin Chepkoit is proud of his Kenyan roots, shown through the small Kenyan flag, bracelet, and magnet in the shape of the country. The shield and figures represent his tribe, the Kalenjin. He is also proud of his father, Wilson, a school teacher and community leader up until his death in 2019.