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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  • Freedom

    | Anonymous

    well to me there is no broken system its just a messed up place and we have to blame it on something. well to me an american is not a social security card or the right to be here to me its a blessing to have any one of another race here in the united states with us . "one nation under god indivisible and justice for all" now in…
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  • I Am American...

    | Janeth Vasquez

    I define American, to be someone that contributes to society. Even if it's an orchard job, to an office job, they are both contributing to this great country. Someone who gives back to their community by volunteering, someone who helps out peopl from their community. Someone who considers America as their home...That is how i define American
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  • Mission Being Accomplished

    | Anonymous

    I define America as the Country my father was invited to, as a top professional, the country that gave me the tools for a college education, the country where I my weekly salary as a dishwasher is higher than my monthly salary as a journalist in Portugal. A country that needs people like me that speaks 3 languages fluently plus two languages...where my language skills have been essential upgrading my…
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  • Generosity And Envy

    | Anonymous

    America is a country where the people are generously and genuinely open to me, to my success and to my skills improvement. The people from my country are concerned and worried every time I accomplish something, which is certainly one of the causes of the south European collapse
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  • Papeles

    | Anonymous

    I came to the U.S. when I was 5. I had not seen my mom in 5 month or so, and my dad since I was around 1, and all I knew was that they were in “Los Estados Unidos”. I had a picture of my dad he had sent me that I would look at all the time and I would smell my mom’s clothes that she had left…
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