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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  • How I Define Being American

    | Brock Fishel

    I define being American as someone who has hopes and dreams to better themselves and try and become successful in a country where anything is possible. My family has been in America since the late 1800's and even before that as I am part Native American, America was built by Immigrants and they are key to America because they come here with dreams to make a good life and that…
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  • Keeping a Secret in Plain Sight

    | Anonymous

    I'm a classic American - some of my ancestors came here when "here" was British colonies, some just a few generations ago. I have two adorable kids, a great job, and the knight-in-shining-armor husband that little girls dream of as they plan their future weddings. He's fun-loving, family-oriented, intelligent, creative, and thoughtful - the kind of guy who'll help you move or fix your stereo. Everyone who knows him counts…
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  • How I define American

    | Haydee Leighty

    America to me is a place where anyone can be who they want. A lot of people from other Countries think that America is just all about "fast food" and being fat, but I believe that if people want to live that way they can. Even if you came from another country, America is still pretty welcoming. When my family came here, they said that they did not have any…
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  • Unwanted Reality

    | Anonymous

    I came to the united states when i was only 9 years old now am 25. I graduated high school and been trying to join the NAVY since i was 18 years old. I got marry and my husband has threated againts my well being here. Passing the dream act would give me the opportunity to serve this country what has given me. freedowm to be me.
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  • A American DREAM come True....

    | Maria Lopez

    I came to the U.S. when I was 7 years old. At that time my only concern was going to Disneyland and seeing my dad who had come over to the US several months before. However as I grew up I realized that something was different about me. The first time I realized it was just before I went to junior high and was filling out paper and saw a…
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