When I meet other first generation or immigrant children, I find we have so many things in common no matter the ethnicity. Often, we are the only English speaking members of the family and are called upon to translate and even lead family matters. And family remains most important to us. We all have a tremendous work ethic and humility and usually don't want to let our parents or our community down. We try to maintain aspects of our culture while acclimating to this country. Sometimes that upsets our parents (as you'll see on our show). Though there are many other struggles such as experiencing financial hardship, being left out, getting picked on or falling behind in school etc., I find being raised first generation instills something special in you and prepares you for family, career and life in an incredible way.
Being the daughter of immigrants wasn't easy growing up, for sure. But now I feel I owe so much of who I am, and my success, to that very fact. Working outside at Universal, I meet a lot of fans and people – many of whom are first generation like me. One of my favorite things is sharing experiences with them, other immigrants and even second generation people. No matter what the culture, we all have the same things in common and we're all very proud. I am by no means an exception. I think most if not all immigrant and ethnic parents would pressure a daughter in my position to marry and have children.
As far as the show goes, I think ethnic families are amongst the most colorful, honest, endearing and entertaining to watch. But then I'm biased. You'll have to judge for yourself.
Watch the premiere of 'Chasing Maria Menounos,' airing tonight at 10/9c!