Define American

Using the power of story to transcend politics and shift the conversation around citizenship

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  • I am a DREAMER...well almost...

    | Anonymous

    Meet Gabriela. A DREAMER... well almost... She missed the age-at entry requirement by a couple of months.

    After reading her story, don't you think she more than deserves a shot too?

    "I, Gabriela Monico, hereby declare as follows: My name is Gabriela Monico. I am a resident of California. I was born in San Salvador, El Salvador. I came to the United States in November 2005 on…

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  • Done Dreaming

    | Esmy Jimenez

    My name is Esmy Jimenez. I was raised in a small town in Washington State known for agriculture and friendly people. I graduated from the local high school as the Senior Class President. I was in National Honor Society and enrolled in all the AP classes my school provided. I even ran on the cross country team and (attempted) to play tennis. On weekends I worked for a catering company…
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  • No Papers Necessary.

    | Anonymous

    My name is Pat. My first "American" family member got to these shores in 1621. His name is William Claiborne and there is a plaque dedicated to him in the church at Jamestown. However, the other half of my family is Irish. The Irish side of my family, while I am not certain, very likely arrived here without any papers since they fled here during the famine. So, in…

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  • I am an American, but I live in the shadows...

    | Anonymous

    In 1998, I met my immigrant husband in Chicago while I was in AmeriCorps and going to school. By that time, he had been in the US for almost 10 years--he had earned his GED, learned English, and moved up from his original position as dishwasher to become a kitchen manager. We fell in love. In 2002, we got married in his hometown in Mexico. We were told that petitioning…
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  • I Teach Americans. So What?

    | Anonymous

    While sitting at a scholarship pageant, I remember how an idyllic teenage girl explained that her dream was to become a teacher. I was a cynical teen in those days and so I rolled my eyes as her sweet, but very breathy voice tinkled the words, "I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way." I had to chew on the sides of…
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  • 22 Years

    | Anonymous

    I arrive to California at the age of 14, I was afraid.. It was a nightmare I was rape, while crossing I had no clue of what was going on. I made it over the border after a couple months I was enrolled in school, thanks to a lovely Woman name Shelly; thanks to her I Finnish high school. Enrolled in college finish all my education while working two jobs,…
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  • Out of Status

    | jose librojo

    My family and I lawfully entered the United States in 1995 seeking political asylum. I was 15 years old at that time. I worked very hard to complete my studies to be a productive and contributing member of the United States. I earned my high school diploma from Westmoor High School in Daly City, CA in 1999. I was a pre-med student at San Francisco State University and received a…
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  • Life is Not Fair so Appreciate What You Have

    | Anonymous

    It was on my 14th birthday that we left Canada for a new life in the United States. My parents were not the kind to plan and do things by the book so we simply entered the US as tourists, driving across the border with the bare minimum of necessities so as not to arouse suspicion. Our belongings were scattered amongst several cars driven by friends and family who we…
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  • 100% American, 100% World Citizen

    | Kristie O'Brien

    I'm a small town, Midwestern, white girl of German, Irish, American Indian, French, English ...etc? heritage. American. I moved to St. Paul/Minneapolis when I was 18, craving to broaden my understanding of both Minnesota and the world by forming bonds with all different kinds of Minnesotans. I had friends who were West African immigrants & refugees; Mexican-American friends from California; white friends from the suburbs; and many undocumented Mexican friends…
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  • The Lives of Real Americans

    | Anonymous

    Being an American is taking pride in your country whether you have live in America your whole life or not. An American is proud to be here and doesn't feel they belong anywhere else. A proper American would put there knowledge 100% in to their daily life. I feel the statement American covers both South and North America.
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