Define American

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

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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…

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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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  • USA = LAND OF IMMIGRANTS

    | Bertha Avila

    My name is Bertha and my parents immigrated our whole family when I was only 5 years old in 1964. I am now 52 years of age and love this country as though it was my birth country. I did not know that I was an immigrant until I was a teenager. Having grown up and assimilated the american life, I believed that I was an American in light of…
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  • i am an american of asian descent

    | colleen ziroli

    my paternal grandfather and grandmother left okinawa to farm on the island of maui, hawaii. my father and his siblings were born there.my father was in the army in the korean war.while in japan he met my mother.i was born on a u.s. army base in 1948. when i was a few months old, my father returned to hawaii with his family. we have been in hawaii since.
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  • Enough

    | Anonymous

    I came to America when I was just three years old and every single memory I have was made here. I did not understand how my status, or lack thereof, affected my life for many years. My parents did not want me to know. I did not understand the grief my parents felt after receiving every denial letter for citizenship. I continued to live my life, make friends, go to…
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  • The True American

    | Roy Naim

    My name is Roy Naim. I am 28 years old, work from home doing marketing consultant and focusing on the path of life coaching and beyond. I came to this country from Israel at the age of 4. Admittedly, we came here on a visiting visa, but for some reason my parents overstayed the visit without going through the legal process. They originally came here to achieve the American Dream…
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  • The American Nomad

    | Rachel Bus

    There's always an awkward pause when someone casually asks me where I'm from. It would be easier to answer what I am, that would get the one word answer: American! But where I'm from? That will take me a minute or two. I was born in Saudi Arabia, where my parents (both U.S. citizens) were working for an oil company as English teachers. In the picture I uploaded, I'm the…
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