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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  • I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America....

    | Natalia

    I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America..... When I was 13 years old I was brought to America. First day of school- I was sitting among my new classmates without knowing any English and was instructed to stand up like everyone else and pledge allegiance to my new flag. On my first day I just stood up in front of the flag and put my…
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  • Defining America

    | Kody Musgrave-Rogers

    American is the place that I was born in and raised for my 17 years. American is a place of freedom with many opportunities’ to advance in. American is the place many dream about coming to for the freedom and to set goal to achieve a family life and better jobs. Many come for the education or jobs. American is a diverse place with many cultures due to all the…
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  • Define American??? or not???

    | Anonymous

    nearly a year ago I met a wonderful friend, He is a friend who has helped me pay for college, a place to live, and a car that gets me from home to work and school. Without him I would be on state aid living off our federal and state tax dollars. I would have outstanding college bills i am unable to pay, and i would most likely be homeless.…
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  • My Best Friend

    | Anonymous

    My best friend is an undocumented immigrant. She believes in working hard and taking care of herself and her family. She believes in God. She loves her neighbors and helps those less fortunate than she is, even though she is struggling to get by herself. She believes in protecting the earth and living frugally. She helps me appreciate the many blessings and opportunities that I sometimes take for granted because…
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  • Immigrant and a son of immigrants

    | Derek Spalla

    I was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada to a Dutch mother who herself, along with her parents and brother were immigrants to Canada. All of us eventually immigrated to the United States. Later when my mother remarried, I was even adopted into an Italian family...yet again, more immigrants. It is not easy to define what it means to be American. The term itself is greater and more widely represented than…
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