The American Dream has been a concept forged into American culture since the inception of the nation, and it means more to our nation than other facets of our culture.
It is a belief that any man or woman is capable of reaching financial stability and living a comfortable life without worrying about day-to-day survival.
Since childhood we are told about the origins of our nation and how it is rooted in immigration. The idea seems old, like something of the past, yet every day more and more immigrants enter the United States.
This is an issue that has become so prevalent that the idea of closing the American borders has gained support and is frequently debated. Barack Obama, President of the United States, has even signed controversial bills meant to help these immigrants gain amnesty.
The millions of men, women and children who enter the United States daily do so with the hope of achieving the American dream, and many do.
Universities are much more diverse than they were 70 years ago. More and more money goes to financial aid that helps immigrants afford the education needed to gain access to better-paying jobs.
The success of these immigrants is proof of both the dream’s continuing popularity and possibilities.
In 1968 my father was born in Cuba, a beautiful land with a communist dictator. In Cuba, hunger is rampant and free speech obstructed. Jorge Varona, my father, left Cuba for America in 1992.
He arrived with nothing but the clothes on his back, the only contact he had in this country was a cousin of his father. Since he arrived, my father yearned for his own piece of the American dream. He wanted to be secure in what he calls “the best nation in the world.”
Today, 22 years later, he’s owned his own house, become a middle-class American, and achieved all the goals he set for himself. He has achieved the American Dream. While those on the opposing side, those who believe the dream is no longer possible, argue that times were different, and that the dream was possible then but not now, I want to know what they say about the Cuban-born teenager who was accepted into all the Ivy League universities just last year.
While many Americans today say they do not see the American dream as possible they do not realize that their achievements are proof of the dream.
According to a poll conducted by the marketing firm DDB, only 40 percent of those polled believed they were living the American dream, yet 66 percent of those polled said they owned a home, 78 percent said they got a good education, 74 percent found a decent job, 78 percent reported having decent health care, and 81 percent believe they are giving their children a better life than they have.
The majority clearly claimed to have accomplished many of the aspects that make up the American Dream.
The American dream is more than just an idea. It is an anchor for many of those who arrive to this country, and for many who live here as well. MAST Academy knows this well.
Students here work hard every day because they hope that one day they’ll achieve their dreams.
“If you work for your dream and always believe in it, it will come true,” eighth grader Madison Convoy said.
“Any dream is possible; your dreams can go as far as your dedication to your life and desire to live your life for you to the absolute best of your ability,” sophomore Ismael Fernandez said.
Knowing that financial stability is still possible, that hard work will pay off with the accomplishment of all of one’s goals, is essential for the men and women who live in this nation.
If the men and women who arrive to this country every day, with nothing, still see the American dream as a very real possibility, why do those lucky enough to have more advantages see the dream as far-fetched?