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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  • What is a good American?

    | Walter Barger

    To me, "American" represents the values that I was raised with that define our society. Growing up in the South, I learned from my family and school that America stands for Freedom and Democracy. I learned from my church about Love, that God gave his son to bear all of our sins, and Justice, that we are to love others as God has loved us. A good American is one…
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  • America

    | Jerry W

    America: Accepting what is comparatively very good, and throwing aside the imaginary hope for what is "perfect". American: Succeed or fail, just let ME do it. The American values system can be summed up by three phrases found on every American coin: "Liberty", "In God We Trust", "E Pluribus Unum"
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  • A hard choice

    | Anonymous

    Four generations ago two German brothers Ernest and Herman, 15 and 17 years old, left everything they knew and everyone they loved in order to avoid the draft of the Germa army, and to find a better life in America. They stowed away on a ship, trekked across the country and then in 1893 took part in the largest land run in history. This sounds like a book or movie,…
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  • The best Student in BBC

    | Anonymous

    I Live in this country for 10 Years. I left my country Ecuador when I was 27. I went away living years of domestic violence. Did not what to do here, but I knew that education was the best way to take. I finished BCC with honors and now I am doing my masters at NJIT. I am proud of myself, because i love this country, I thank this country…
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  • I define American as "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" what a cliche.

    | Anonymous

    In the words of Arthur Miller, "When today fails to offer a justification for hope, tomorrow becomes the only grail worth pursuing". Being an undocumented immigrant brought to the United States as a kid, such has been my pursuit. In an immigrant society which has, by definition, chosen to reject the past; faith in the future is not a matter of choice. The details of how I got to the…
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