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 »
  • American is who you are, not where you came from.

    | Camille Mackler

    To me an American is someone who believes that every person is entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - and who is willing to work to achieve that. To be American is to love the freedoms we enjoy, and to be willing to protect them no matter how inconvenient. To be American is to have faith that your goals can have no limits, so long as you…
    Continue Reading »
  • Its the human race. We should not let categories define who we are.

    | Anonymous

    Who am I? Where am I going? Why do they hate me? Do they have reasons to hate me? Why do I want to be here so much? I have struggled with these questions my adult life, desperately wanting direction in my life, wanting to know what was expected of me. I am lost in a chaotic world, where in one side they tell me, you are not American, you…
    Continue Reading »
  • Irony

    | Andres Villalba

    My parents and I came to this country 10 years ago, and like everybody else I attended high school. I made friends, I had my dreams, I got frustated and like everybody else I graduated. But it was a rude awakening to know that my future as a student had ended with a high school diploma. The struggles my parents had gone through to give me an opportunity became obsolete…
    Continue Reading »
  • What I'm Dealing With Now

    | Gian Trotta

    I guess this is long overdue. I’m sure that most if not all of the people I come in contact with are aware that I’m moving. Some people think I’m moving to Ohio, others know the actual story. I guess I’ll start by explaining some backstory. When I was ten years old my mom and dad decided to move from Venezuela to the US. We originally moved to Ohio but…
    Continue Reading »
  • "A Life Lived In Fear Is A Life Half Lived"

    | Elizabeth Carballo

    I'm Ellie. Both of my parents came to the United States illegally, and a couple of years ago, my parents both risked deportation. It was a terrible time because it happened while I was studying abroad. I remember getting to the airport, back home in DC, and not knowing whether my parents would be there to take me home. It is absurd that in 2012 our country can shut people…
    Continue Reading »
 

Let's Talk.
What would you do?