This I Believe

Brandon Herrera: “The American Dream”

The American Dream

by Brandon Herrera


I believe in the American Dream.

The reason I say this is because all my life I have been taught that you need to have a good job so you can make good money and a property so you can start your family. So to me, the American Dream is making a good amount of money so you can buy property and live a good life.

I know a lot of people have their interpretation on what the American Dream is, but this is mine.

I believe my grandpa lived the American Dream. He was born in El Salvador. He told me he was one of like 9 kids and his mother and father did not have a lot of money and lived in a little place. Once my grandpa turned 18, he met my grandmother. They planned to come here to the United States of America so my grandpa came to first. He came on a boat, he told me. Then he got his American citizenship and got my grandmother over here as well. They told me that they rented out a room with other Hispanic people in their situation. They were just trying to save up their money for their own place so they could settle down.

So that is what they did: they got their own apartment in DC and had my father. They later moved to Maryland and got a house where I go and stay every weekend. There, my grandpa had gotten injured at his job which was in construction. So, he took a little break from the workforce, but he was not just at home recovering. He was studying to get his CDL so he could become a truck driver since he could no longer work construction due to his injury. He then went on to become a very successful truck driver and I used to love riding in that big truck.

My grandpa always told me to be someone in this world. He said he didn’t want me to get a regular job even though there is nothing wrong with that. He just didn’t want that for me. He would always tell me to get an education so I could make good money.

At first, I didn’t even know if I wanted to go college. I didn’t even like high school, but I thought about it. I told myself that if my grandpa could come all the way from poverty in El Salvador to having his family in a house in the United States of America, why couldn’t I just get myself an education so I can have my American Dream like how he had his?

I feel that I should be able to be someone in this world and have nice things and a family like my grandpa wanted for me. That is why I believe in the American Dream.


(Read all the pieces in This I Believe; featured image from Flickr user joelrivlin under CC BY 2.0)

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