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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  • Making American Inclusive

    | Eric Suchman

    To me, the issue of defining an American is inclusive. Anyone who lives in America, grows up in America, participates in American society or government is an America. For that matter, anyone who considers him or herself to be an American is an American. Unfortunately, as a nation we often define an American in an exclusive, rather than inclusive manner. We ask ourselves, Who is not an American? Do you…
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  • Defining American

    | Anonymous

    If I got technical, I'd have to say an American is anyone born in the United States, Mexico, North, Central or South America. My history teacher in High School back in the late 80's told me that "my people" needed to wake up. I did not idetify myself as "those people" I felt I was "AMERICAN" and had nothing to worry about when it came to immirgation or it's laws.…
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  • Working for the Dream Act as an American Citizen

    | Anonymous

    my story; I am an American Citizen who worked for many months to help get the California Dream Act passed. I believe the "fence" needs to be redesigned to allow those who want to give their talents to America the chance to. Children should remain with their parents; and parents should be allowed to watch their children give back to what was given to them. If we, as a country,…
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  • From CA

    | Anonymous

    I moved to the US in November 12, 2002. America is my home, and I want to work hard to improve the life of fellow immigrants like myself and other Americans. We love America as much as anyone native-born here. It is the land I want to grow old in.
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  • What I learned from teaching interpersonal communications

    | Afi Scruggs

    Whenever you teach, you learn. I wasn't thrilled about teaching interpersonal communications until I realized the book I'd been assigned had a multicultural approach. Then preparing for my lectures became absorbing and fascinating. But my definition of American was solidified when I read the chapter on power hierarchies. That's when I learned that Americans, almost more than any other society, worship the notion of individuality. As I pondered, I realized…
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