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This I Believe: The American Dream

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS
Anthony Gill - Tuscola High School

This is the story of a couple of people who were not lucky enough to be born in the land of the free. Instead of accepting their fate, these two people, along with their families, accomplished a goal they never thought possible.

These two people happen to be both of my parents, born and raised in small, Chinese villages.

My mother lived with three other siblings and hardworking parents. Her family lived in a house no bigger than a modern bedroom. This room had a kitchen, restroom, and a bed that everyone shared. My grandpa worked as a rickshaw puller, barely making enough to feed his family of six. My grandma was a stay at home mom, taking care of my mom and her siblings. My mother and her family finally decided that China was not the place to raise a family, so they decided to move across the world to a place where they only knew a few words of the language. Once in New York, my mother and her family would work on the streets, selling fabric. Every day after school, my mom and her siblings would go straight to the shop to work.

On the other side of the family tree, my father grew up with his parents and two other siblings. When my father became a teenager, he moved to Japan in order to support his family back in China. After a year in Japan and not a lot of success, he decided to move across the world as well. He worked at a restaurant in New Jersey and lived in an apartment right above that restaurant.

Finally, my parents met, married, and worked for several years together in the restaurant business. They packed everything and moved the family to the Midwest. They decided to spend most of the money they had accumulated over the years to buy a restaurant in a small town in Illinois. After two months of little to no business, my parents decided to move once again to another small town in Illinois with the name of Tuscola. They knew that this was the last resort and if this restaurant failed, they will have nothing. One month after opening the restaurant, business was a huge success. They worked 12 hours a day every day for the first few years of business. They have continued to work extremely hard, working over 60 hours a week and rarely going a week without working.

My parents are the definition of the American Dream where people with nothing can reach a level they never thought possible. I believe that America provides hope to people around the world and a place to raise children. I believe that with hard work and dedication, anyone in America can achieve their dreams. I believe that I am extremely lucky to have parents who were brave enough to move to a foreign country for the future of me and my sister. I believe that America has changed all of our lives.

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