Define American

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

VIEW STORIES:
By Type
  • All
  • Picture
  • Audio
  • Video
By State
  • All
  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • American Samoa
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • D.C.
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virgin Islands
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

ALL STORIES

  • 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…

    Continue Reading »
  • 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…
    Continue Reading »
  • 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…

    Continue Reading »
  • 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…
    Continue Reading »
  • 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…
    Continue Reading »
  • Our Immigration Story

    | Anonymous

    Sadly my husband has been in mandatory detention for almost 8 months. He has what immigration calls a "conviction" even though the state does not recognize it as such. He will be subject to a permanent ban from the country. We have a 6 year old son who wants his daddy home.
    Continue Reading »
  • From an ordinary citizen ...

    | Anonymous

    My father's family came to the US from the Netherlands in the 1850s, seeking a place to farm because the family farm there would not support so many adult children and their families. They were legal immigrants; I have no idea what that process involved. They settled in northwest Iowa. It was an opportunity that would be much harder to come by these days. I live now in a small…
    Continue Reading »
  • The best American values I know

    | Winter Green

    As a 2nd generation American and neither 'white enough nor 'of color' enough finding where I fit was always difficult. Yet, there was always a sense that 'America' was striving toward an ideal but until last year I had not found a simple statement that evoked that idea. I found it engraved on the Capitol building in Salem, Oregon. 'A free State is formed and is maintained by the voluntary…
    Continue Reading »
  • The American Dream

    | Anonymous

    I truly believe in the American Dream and I've spent most of my adult life working for America. I was born here, served in the military and became disabled, became an immigration officer and worked for FEMA. When I was an immigration officer, I thought a lot about what it meant to me to be a citizen. Most of us take it for granted. We were born here and we…
    Continue Reading »
  • Mothers separated from their children

    | Anonymous

    I am an American mother and homeowner in a Chicago suburb. I have hired maids and landscapers with and without documentation through "legal" agencies. Many workers have "fake" ID or social security numbers ,so there isn't anyway to know for sure who is who, without running background checks. The most heartbreaking stories for me, are those involving Moms. Consider the plight of mothers and children isolated on both sides of…
    Continue Reading »
 

Let's Talk.
What would you do?