What is the American Dream?

Cecile Bendera, Culture Editor



We went around City High asking people from different backgrounds and age about their definition of the American Dream. Many were extremely optimistic and had positive thoughts about the Dream. On the other hand, there were others who had opposite views.


– Palamy Keomanivanh

 “My definition of the American Dream is education. A lot of Asians come to America for education.  Even if you are smart, go to school and graduate you still can’t get [a] job. If you don’t know a person in a higher level you won’t get in. That [is] why I  felt that education is not that important in Laos. [In Laos] I didn’t have a dream . I don’t know how going to school benefit me, but because I was little and school is a good thing and I can meet my friends so I continued to do so.” When I came to America, they have all those programs to be successful as a student and help you plan for your future. So it is totally different here. Also, I have an opportunity to make my dream come true and get the job I want. So my view of education has changed and I want to pursue that dream.”



-Mary Peterson

 “I think [The American Dream used to be you can do whatever you want if you work hard enough to get what you want. I think that is a traditional old school view of it because I don’t think that is a reality. I don’t really believe that there is an American Dream. I think your race,  the amount of money you make, where you live, all plays into that. How I’m I supposed to say you are not working hard enough? You’re telling me the mom who is working three jobs and raising five kids by herself is not busting her a**? She is never going to get ahead because she has so many barriers. I think the American Dream is a white perception because it is easier for white people to do it. It is more complicated than [just working hard]. The fact that people believe that if you work hard then they get what they want. What if people work hard and they don’t get what the want? Then they are going to think they didn’t work hard and they didn’t deserve it. That is not necessarily true.”



-Mariana Sanchez

“When everything is at peace and no one is at war or anything. When I think about it,  it’s [when] you do not have to pay money. We will just have to go to the store and just buy something. We will work to have supplies but not have to pay for them because some people struggle with that. So many are in the streets who do not have enough things. When we will be in peace and won’t have to struggle with that. I feel like people care too much about about money and having power right now. Maybe in the future, really MAYBE the future, it will happen. It depends on the people if [peace] will happen. America as a country should help other people achieve that dream.”



– Fernanda Millan

“The American Dream is having a great job and being able to go to college to earn money to help my family with money problems.”


-Tony Balceon

“If I had the same concept of the European version of the American Dream, basically if have a dream, vision or something you want to do you go to the U.S.  There you will find all the opportunity and means that you need to in order to make it true. I don’t believe in that. I think for some people it works. There is a big amount of luck but also whatever you start with in life in terms of money, social background, any attribute like skin color, orientation, [and more].”


– Ja’Korey Walker

“The American Dream is having the opportunity to accomplish all your dreams and equality. Everybody being able to pretty much live their lives the way they want to without any persecution.”

– Akyrah Whiteselle

“To have a good job, a nice house, and nice car. To be comfortable in life. I believe anywhere I am I would want a life like that not just in America.”



-Claudia Janes

“I do believe in the American dream. It is living in a country where you are free to make your own choices and decide your own future. I think [the American Dream] is achievable for anyone who has the determination for it.”



– Maya Khali

“This is super stereotypical but have a house, a family and a good job.  I don’t really believe in the American Dream anymore, it’s just do what you want to do. I think it is different for everyone. It is hard for a lot of people like women and people of color. The American Dream is just for white men because they have the most opportunity.”