To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDEdspace and end it with #DoNowAmDream

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.


Do Now

How do you personally define the “American dream?” How do priorities like home ownership and access to higher education compare with your values? What will success look like for your future?

Introduction

Not too many years ago, the “American dream” seemed to be a pretty uniform vision: landing a well-paying job, owning your own home and filling it with cool stuff, maybe even having a family and sending your kids to good schools and colleges.

But for many millennials, their goals don’t necessarily line up with this narrow definition of success. More than previous generations, young people today say they value travel and self-employment over material things like houses and cars. And while for immigrant families “making it” used to mean assimilating into American culture, many young first and second generation Americans are seeking to preserve their traditions, finding balance between old and new values.

Youth Radio reporter Kasey Saeturn is one of those millennials. Her family is from Laos, and is ethically Mien. Unlike her younger siblings, she has made an effort to learn to speak Mien even as she participates in a traditional American education. “I’m trying to pursue higher education, financial aid, and the American Dream,” she says. “And I’m trying to do all that, without losing the Mien ways.”

But as evident in another Youth Radio story, this one by Isabella Ordaz, the opportunity to pursue the traditional American Dream can sometimes feel like a cultural trade off. When she was ten, Isabella, who is Mexican-American and now in high school, moved with her family from her diverse neighborhood with a reputation for high crime, to a primarily white suburb with a low crime rate and prestigious local schools. While she had more academic options in her new school, it was a culture shock for her suddenly to be one of the only brown students in her class — especially when her white classmates made insensitive comments about Mexicans.

“I felt like a little brown pebble stuck in a glistening pile of white sand,” she said. “And the sand, it didn’t want me there.”

Resource

AUDIO: Keeping Up My Mien Heritage (KQED/Youth Radio)
Youth Radio reporter and Mien-American Kasey Saeturn has several siblings, but she is the only one who still speaks any Mien. Her younger siblings have to ask her to translate when they want to talk to their grandmother, who does not speak English. In her KQED perspective, Kasey weighs the value of an American education and traditional Mien skills.


To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDedspace and end it with #DoNowAmDream

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.

We encourage students to reply to other people’s tweets to foster more of a conversation. Also, if students tweet their personal opinions, ask them to support their ideas with links to interesting/credible articles online (adding a nice research component) or retweet other people’s ideas that they agree/disagree/find amusing. We also value student-produced media linked to their tweets. You can visit our video tutorials that showcase how to use several web-based production tools. Of course, do as you can… and any contribution is most welcomed.


More Resources

AUDIO: Whispers of Racism (Youth Radio/KQED)
When Youth Radio reporter Isabella Ordaz and her family moved from a diverse but higher-crime neighborhood in Antioch, California to a more affluent, gang-free community in Danville, she felt like they had won “the Mexican immigrant lottery.” But the move also came with a new form of culture shock. As one of the only brown kids in her class, Isabella soon found herself missing the acceptance she had in her old neighborhood.

AUDIO: Youth Radio Podcast: The American Dream (Youth Radio)
In this intern edition of the Youth Radio podcast, Onaja Waki “explores the meaning of the American Dream and the relevance it has in today’s society — especially for youth.” The podcast includes interviews with a diverse group of teens as well as Diana Elliott, Research Officer for Economic Mobility for Pew Charitable Trusts.


This KQED Do Now segment was produced in collaboration with Youth Radio, the Peabody Award-winning youth-driven production company headquartered in Oakland, California. This post was written by Teresa Chin at Youth Radio.


How Does the American Dream Relate to You? 8 March,2017Youth Radio

  • edburghard

    Before determining how the American Dream relates to you, take a minute and read about Xavier University’s research into the American Dream. You can find an overview at the http://www.strengtheningbrandamerica.com website. You may be surprised the American Dream is much more than this article describes and it remains very relevant.

  • Devin

    Today the American Dream for alot of people would be owning expensive cars, huge homes, alot of chains and expensive designer clothes. You hear kids constantly talking about they wish they were like a famous person. So it changes their mindset and makes them believe they need to have all the expensive items in order to be somebody big. In reality all I would need is a roof over my head and a good paying job in order to support my family and I. I would enjoy taking nice vacations every once in awhile and getting to have some extra cash to do fun things. I would also like to have enough cash to pay for all my schooling. This is my American dream. You don’t have to be rich to have a rich positive mindset. As long as you have some food, a roof over your head, and you’re family that’s all you need.

  • Jessica

    The American dream has shifted a lot in the last century, remember Of Mice and Men? They were simply trying to seek the American dream for them. My American dream is different from your american dream, I just want to get a good education get a reliable job and own a house then have children. We all want stability and finding a sort of tranquility with our life. Not all of us want to own a piece of land and have the white picket fence and a rose garden.

  • CARLISLE

    In many ways the American dream has changed and evolved. Over all I wouldn’t say the American dream has changed I would say it has just become more complex, many more perceptions and personal views have been included to the traditional american dream. Society as a whole has adjusted. Although some people may still have the traditional American dream, many others have changed the American dream to something that is more realistic for themselves personally. America is open for everyone to have their own perception, goals, and dreams. Now a days it is more common to have a single mother or father, having a family is not something everybody wants. For many traveling and getting new experiences is all somebody could ask for. The American dream has become more open to suggestion. Many traditions have changed and adapted to the present. Personal views affect what people want and look for in life and with themselves. The American dream has been adjusted to present day for an individual to decipher for themselves.

    • Judah

      I certainly agree with your comment Carlisle. I think the American Dream, emphasis on American, is being successful in your chosen way. Over time, that definition has changed, and become more personal, more diverse. It is essentially the same concept, it has just broadened. Now individuals have more that they’re hoping for than just a good job that can support a family. I think this is especially true for women, as most women of the middle 20th century didn’t work, and now many do.

  • Sarah

    To me the American dream is already at my fingertips. My family is middle class and white in a nice neighborhood and I go to a great school. Ever since I was little I knew what I wanted to be and growing up and now being a sophomore in high school I have been taking my future plans much more seriously. But the ability for me to reach the true American Dream has always been there for me, I just need to work hard enough to get it and I am very lucky to have what I do and won’t ever forget that I do have the things that I have. My mom works as a teacher consultant at a school in a not so great part of town and she sees kids my own age and younger and older who don’t have the same upbringing as I do but they do have the exact same amount of ability to obtain the American Dream. It’s called the American Dream because anybody who is in the U.S. can get it and they don’t have to be born here or lived here their whole life, once they cross the border, they can have that opportunity as long as they want it and work for it. That to me is what the American Dream means.

  • Christy C.

    The American Dream has been altered through ages. Back then, it used to be an actual dream; a goal everyone wanted to achieve. Getting a job, having a family- that’s what everyone wanted. Yet today, it became more than that. Today’s American dream has more personal and bigger views. The American dream keeps leveling up. Many wants to become rich, as in billionaire rich, while achieving the job they want, not just a job that pays well. However, there are those who doesn’t want to have that. Some would want to achieve something else. With this said, the American dream, which started out as a generalized dream everyone wanted, became a dream that’s made up of other’s dreams. The American Dream became a dream where everyone puts there input into it, as well as still have some sort of general theme.

  • Mackenzie and Ariana

    We agree that the definition of the American Dream has changed greatly from the beginning of our nation to this day in age. To us, the American Dream is not directed towards the acquiring of a certain job, or a certain way of life. Instead, the American Dream is simply the ability to become what one wants. It’s not becoming a doctor so much as being given the tools necessary to become a doctor. We have the chance to do what we aspire to, that’s the American Dream.

  • Nikki39987

    Most people seem to think that the American dream is to be rich and successful. All of that stuff is great but you wouldn’t be truly happy if you didn’t have freedom. If you aren’t free then you are limited to what you can do. I would want to make sure all of my friends and family can enjoy the things that I’m enjoying if I live my American dream. Everyone’s dreams are different and everyone should get the chance to make their dreams a reality.

  • Kendra

    For me, the American dream has always presented itself to me in the form of education and opportunity. I agree with the newer view of the American dream of traveling or enriching one’s knowledge while still holding on to one’s individual culture because I feel that education and learning are the keys to the opportunities that lead to one’s happiness. The American dream has always been about finding happiness and throughout the generations there were just may different views on how to find this (houses, wealth, family, etc.). In doing this, losing cultural ties or being criticized for them is unfavorable and so keeping that part of ourselves is also apart the American dream: to be individual and unique in an accepting society. In the here and now, many opportunities arise when people are noticed for their experience or education. The higher the better and this is something that I personally support. I have college and job and travel plans in mind but all of these things link back into how advanced my education is. For others who have different goals than myself (like moving to Texas and becoming a cattle rancher or something), education may not play such an influential role. But that’s the thing about America: we are anything but uniform and all have different ideals and priorities. In this age, I think that the American dream has become much more diverse and this has become more acceptable in what people want.

  • Jade

    We would define the American Dream as achieving happiness through doing what you love and succeeding at having the ideal life.

    For examples, a stereotypical American family would be in a suburban neighborhood, four family members (Mom, Dad, and the little chitlins), good jobs, and an organized life.

    Something about higher education which compares to our values of American living is that you are much more likely to get into a college if you can afford it. It is highly unlikely to get a full ride to college, especially if the college is a very good one. Home ownership is also very expensive and there are many responsibilities which come with it, because accidents happen and things break.

    Success in our future comes with and overall good job with steady pay, a good housing arrangement, and happiness. :).

    -Sydney, May, and Jade

  • africatory

    South aftrica is american dream. We are one i like these nuts HA GOTEEEEM. anyway untugu amanga we are king and queen of the navy seal I do not prefer seal team 4 #dealtasquad. Quickscope me in modern warefare 3 beacuse black ops 3 is raw. May the 4th be with you. We here in Troy we love the amricans and how they brought us there so we can pick cottton. i love to pick cotton. #tryweareone

  • SashaGrinevich

    I think that the American dream is whatever your goal is that you want to achieve in America. Like perusing I higher education, job, or freedom of religion.

  • Shreyas Banerjee

    The American Dream, at this point, might as well be a dream. Rags to riches stories are happening less and less because of our income inequality and our lack of income mobility. My family are immigrants from India, but they were fortunate because they had a proper education back in India and were able to get a job with a servicable income until they were able to go to a university for medical school. They were able to get a better job and were able to support me. That is the living embodiment of the American Dream, but have you seen many of these stories over time? Without education, nobody could have any income mobility. If we want to truly make the American Dream a reality, we have to improve our education system.

  • jocajulao

    How it relates to me is that we can still make it for our dreams to happen in America.

  • Janine Bunag

    i think that the american dream as a dream to be rich. some people don’t have a home ownership. in my future, i think success will become very big.

  • stephanie

    I feel is not easy to get a American dream becauses get a family is not easy

  • 19nzel

    Personally, I believe the “The American Dream” is being able to have the opportunities you never thought possible. In other countries, you may not be able to fulfill the dreams that they wanted to. When you move to America, if you work hard enough and have the drive to do what you want, to can do it.

  • Kittens

    The American Dream is different for everyone. Your goal may be totally different depending on what you want in life and where you are from. You just want opportunities for yourself. Success in the future may be money or a family, but it all depends on you and your lifestyle.

    • Ada Ouyang

      I agree with you because I believe that the American dream differs from person to person depending on an individual’s image of success.

  • 19bshe

    The American dream to me is being able to have a stable life with enough things to support your life while also having your own personal twist on it.

  • Natalie

    I think I’m already living the American Dream, because I’m happy and already successful. I come from a middle class family where we’ve always had just what we needed, I’ve always been educated, currently I’m at the second best private school in my state, and I know with hard work I will continue to live the American Dream. Right now, I’m exactly where I need to be to succeed in my life, and to me the American Dream is also having the oppurtunity and resources to do just that.

  • 19asol bobby unicorn

    The American Dream is a fantasy. It can be achieved with much work, or you can fail greatly.

  • 19hfil

    The American Dream is to be able to be content. For some people, this means having a small family and a normal life. Some want to be filthy rich. Others want to give everything they own away to others and be completely selfless. Some people just want to work. This will relate to me, based on what I want my life to be like, but I’m not at that stage yet. I have no clue what I want my life to be like. I’m not ready to make that decision. I just want to be content when I grow up, whatever that turns out to mean.

  • FreddyJackson

    I think the American dream remains essentially the same: get a job, support your family, make a life for yourself, by yourself. Luckily most Americans at this point are guaranteed a good education and a job. I think many people are just looking for satisfaction in their life, like a job they love doing and the feeling that they are contributing something to society.

    • Erica Liang

      I agree with your interpretation of the American dream. However, I don’t think that many Americans are guaranteed a good education or job at this point. Students are forced into debt when they go to college, and after college they’re not even guaranteed a job in the field they majored in.

  • naturalist

    I think for many people, the American Dream is to become wealthy, all while doing something you love. And for others it is just to know that you have made it. The moment you know that you are safe, physically, financially, and mentally is when you know you have made it. For me, my version of the,”American Dream” is to 1) Go to a good college to get a degree in Enviromental Engineering (UCLA, University Of Toledo, Michigan State, ect.) 2) Get a job at the EPA, 3) As materialistic as it is, I would log to have a nice house and an electric car. The true American Dream is to have enough money to support a nice lifestyle and still have money to travel and ect. For me, I am somewhat living the American Dream my family is middle class, we have a nice house, and I currently go a very good private school.

  • Joel H

    The American dream is different for everyone, but it revolves around the same type of idea. You need opportunities to do what you want to do. Without these you can’t do anything. You need chances.

    • Aaron lam

      im not sure if change is possible??

  • Daniel S

    This is not really a one-way debate. Initially, we have the idea that anybody can work hard in America to get an education, a background in some field, and a good job. We have Social Security ensuring our wellbeing. But there could be some hidden truths
    A few decades ago, we would raise the next generation so that they would be better than the last. We would generally consist of blue collar workers, and four member families. But have we lost sight of that? In some conditions we have. We skate by with mostly ‘C’s, and then get a low income job at Walmart or McDonalds, and figure out how to live like that. We will sometimes see immigrants working the commercial jobs, making enough money to receive Social Security at 25. And then we have conditions where we shoot to be well-rounded, and become too much so. We do these future oriented concepts without any attempt to make an organic path that will be shaped based off of what you intend to do.
    But perhaps this is the American Dream. I find that the American dream is the path that all Western World Citizens go through, blazing their own trail. All in all, we should be asking “What is the American Dream?” instead.

  • Malik A.

    The American Dream can be anything you want it to be. That is the best thing of the American Dream, so think up what you think the American Dream is, because that is what it is.

  • 19jlee

    The American Dream is what makes us more and more successful everyday. The dream for everyone as long as they put the hard work and effort to grab opportunities and be successful. The Dream doesn’t depend on the person, but their willpower to achieve and reach their goals. As long as we keep believing, then we will truly be living “The American Dream.”

  • Kerstyn

    The American Dream gives people the right to freedom, which includes the opportunity for success. The American Dream gives people’s hope, equality, opportunity and happiness. The American Dream relates to me because I had to leave my old school because of something really tragic event happened to me. I was going to be home-schooled. But a great opportunity to go to a private school that is very good with academics came along. And now I’m getting a great education and I’m with better people.

  • dan.b

    The american dream relates to me because I think Im in the game to achieve it.The instant money no work thats the american dream and it relates to me.

  • ben dover

    freedom and equality.

    • SHUT THE FUCK UP DUDE! NOBODY LIKIES YOU JUST STOP POSTING PLEASE

  • Jeremiah Bonifacio

    The American means to me that I can have my own career.

  • William Gil

    I think the “American Dream” gives people opportunity to be successful in their life.

  • Kelly Yee

    The American dream somewhat relate to me because I want a well-paying job and have my own little family.

  • the american dream is all about money thats how i relate to it. Scared money dont make no money if i ever go broke ima take yo money, in the hood every day and im good what i say. The american dream isnt real, the american dream was made in china like everything else!

  • orlando

    the America dream is different for everyone.

  • aj

    the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American.

  • Erica Liang

    I think the standard American dream for anyone is to achieve their own personal happy lifestyle. I couldn’t care less about fancy cars and homes, even though they’re perfectly normal goals to pursuit. To me, the American dream is being surrounded by loved ones and having all the necessities in life. Simply put, money can’t buy true happiness.

    • Darren H.

      But without money you would not be able to support that lifestyle. Money can buy certain kinds of happiness. I agree with the family and people you like though.

    • May N.

      So are you saying you’d be just as happy on the streets, in the cold, without even a single penny to your name? Being surrounded by loved ones is nice but it shouldn’t be the only thing you want to pursue.

  • Darren H.

    The American Dream is different for each person, and there is not really one definition for the American Dream. Each person has a different one. As values change over time, and the needs of a new generation change then so does the American Dream. Especially as we are such a diverse country that dream can vary from each person just like how all our traditions, backgrounds, and cultures are not the same.

  • May N.

    To me, the American dream is to have equality and freedom. I think priorities like money and education shouldn’t matter because everyone’s different. Some people don’t need money to be happy with their lives, and that’s what I aim for. I don’t care about being rich or having a nice house, I just want to enjoy my life.

  • Preston Chu

    I think the “American Dream” is to feel success and to live in comfort. I think priorities like the ones in the question match my priorities because I’m trying to get a higher education to get a well paying job, which can help me with home ownership. I think I will feel successful when other people can recognize me for success and I can live without worries.

    • Ezra Quianzon

      I agree with your definition of the American Dream. I also believe that success is achieved when others recognize you for it and living with comfort and without worries is also very nice.

  • Ezra Quianzon

    I think the American Dream is to use whatever this country has to offer to build your life the way you want to. Having a college degree, a stable job, a home, and a happy family. Success to me is happiness, if 20 years from now I’m happy, then I believe that I have achieved success.

    • Preston Chu

      I agree that people should just find happiness in this country. Everyone focuses on getting a college degrees, getting a job, and getting a house, but who really finds true happiness from all of this work.

  • Ada Ouyang

    For me, the American dream is to have equal rights and opportunities and happiness. Home ownership and higher education are also similar to my values because in order to get the lifestyle that I want in the future, those two things are very important. Success for me in the future will mean that I do my best on everything that I’m determined to do, such as working hard on my job, making my family happy, living a carefree and happy lifestyle, and more.

  • D’Anna p.

    I think that American Dream is something that you do as a community to help make your country better. It compares because higher education will better the outcome of you going to a god college or having a good successful life in the future. Success for me will look like how i planned it to be. I will become a doctor and have a very successful life and have a loving family.

  • Paul

    The American dream has changed for young people. Young adults are no longer prioritize starting a family as the American dream–the American dream for me will involve establishing myself financially by getting a good education and getting a good career. Later in life, I will probably start a family, but from my perspective success will be achieved through a good education and financial stability. http://www.forbes.com/sites/robasghar/2014/05/01/young-adults-18-24-define-their-american-dream-stability-now-family-tbd/

  • anthony palmer

    I think the American Dream is being successful and being safe. Being safe is employed, finically stable, satisfied, having a home, support your family, and happy. This dream is somewhat of a ghost though because its very hard to reach all of these. Having a home and an education is very key to this dream. Without these I don’t think you can achieve this dream in America. I see my future as having a job, a home, and enough money to feel safe. http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2009/04/american-dream200904

  • Conor Donehue

    The American dream means a lot to me personally. In my opinion it is the opportunity to “make it” and be successful in whatever you work at. This is just basically an assurance that I will usually get what I work for in this country

  • Zack R

    The American Dream is success. Whether it be by getting a good job and making money or just feeling happy and satisfied; it is different for everyone. America is different from other countries in that we have more opportunities to achieve what we want to. I think that’s what makes America so great. Success for me will be to get a good job and not have to worry about struggling. I want to have a steady life in the future and if that means I have to work hard now then I’ll do whatever it takes. http://www.vanityfair.com/cult

  • David Musci

    The American dream to me, is finding success after having little for your name. Rising up and managing to be successful in your education and happiness, money and wealth are not needed to have the American dream. In my future Im not sure I want exactly, all I do know is that I want to be able to live comfortably and steadily with a job that is rewarding for me no matter how hard I work.http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/lessons/american-dream/students/thedream.html

  • Caroline P

    The America dream depends completely on you. I don’t believe that there is a single American dream. What I consider an American dream is different from what my friends, family, or neighbors may think. For me personally, my ultimate dream is to have enough money to not worry about the next meal, the next bill, the next taxi ride, etc. Higher education is a necessity these days. Unemployment rates and income are proportional to your level of education. If your American dream involves a significant amount of money, then attaining a degree is crucial. Owning a home is not significant to me, but graduating from college and earning a sufficient amount of money doing something I love is my ultimate idea of success. http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20141112.htm

  • To me, the “American Dream” means finding success doing what you love, having a stable place to live and eventually a family. It doesn’t necessarily involve being excessively rich, but just being happy with where you are and what you’re doing for a living, and having stability. Overall happiness is the most important factor of achieving the American Dream.

  • Frannie

    I think the American dream differs for everyone and sometimes the ideas we have of an “American Dream” aren’t exactly our personal American dream. It’s hard to describe the American dream that includes everyone because things that seem wonderful to me may not be wonderful to the person next to me. Personally, if I feel comfortable with the person I am and I feel pretty comfortable in the life I live (ie I can pay for food, shelter, etc) then I’d like to say I’m living my own American dream.

  • Olivia J.

    I believe that there is a different American dream for everyone. Not everyone wants the same thing, but it essentially encircles the same idea. Personally, the American dream to me is being able to grow up, get a job, have enough money to not have to worry about not having enough food, and to be able to support my family. I don’t necessarily think in order to succeed in life you need to have home ownership or access to high education. I think that if you have a decent place to make a living and are able to have any sort of education, you can achieve what you want by hard work and putting your mind to it.

  • carlos a

    To me the American dream is to be able to live life comfortably without having to worry about providing food or other necessities for your family. For people trying to achieve the American dream is to bring that sense of stability to their families.

  • Rosbitt BDP

    How do you personally define the “American dream?” How do priorities like home ownership and access to higher education compare with your values? What will success look like for your future?

    Personally the American Dream is the belief of achieving no stress in terms of economy. That is not having to worry about money and you can indulge in a “perfect” home, car, education, food, etc. I think to everyone it has turned into a more materialistic view which is a view also supported by Bill Moyer saying, “…some critics have charged the dream has become purely materialistic.” in his article about the American dream (http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/americandream/). Success in my future would be using the American Dream as a motivating force.

  • Jasmine Nicolas

    Different people have different meanings of the American Dream. I think the American Dream is to live a safe life and to have fair rights. I don’t want to worry about getting killed while taking a walk. I don’t want to worry about not having enough food and water. When some people hear America, they think of being free.

  • Easton

    I’m pretty sure the “American Dream” is a saying when you own property in the U.S. This relates to me because hopefully one day I can own a house inside of a good neighborhood so I can feel safe and have a roof over my head. I don’t really understand the “American Dream” that much but, I known as of this moment my family is living in the “American Dream”.

  • Sumedh Sidhu

    The American Dream is having a good-paying job and a medium sized house. Family is something that will come up as I grow older. I need to find a stable lifestyle before I move on in life. I want to not worry about money. Finally, I want to help people around the world. What do you think I am missing?

  • Marilynn Bui

    The American Dream has changed throughout time. It used to be a goal that everyone wanted to be successful and having a family. Now, the American Dream is a much bigger picture. Some people want to become billionaires, while achieving the job they’ve always wanted. While others, want to achieve something different. I honestly think that the American Dream to have fair rights and have a safe life. I don’t want to stress about being in a drought or not having enough food. I don’t want to worry about if i will get killed while leaving my house.

  • Adam

    The American dream is basically having a well-paying job, owning your own house, filling it with cool stuff, having a family, and sending your kids to good schools and college. This dream relates to me because I want to have a good education and live a good life also, my father is living this dream and providing for the rest of my family.

  • Grace

    The American Dream is different, depending on your culture but it usually generates around the same idea. It is to be successful and content knowing you helped yourself accomplish something great. It is to live independently, knowing that it’s possible for you to have a happy life. It’s obtainable but you have to work hard to succeed.

  • Aneesa

    I think the American Dream depends on the person, and how the experiences in their life intertwine with another’s, and what their idea of the American Dream is. It’s different for everyone, and that diversity is what makes America the country that it is.

  • Isabel

    The ‘American Dream’ is more about the individual than Americans. The ‘American Dream’ is everyone’s individual dream that they wish to achieve. I personaly do not believe in the ‘American Dream’, I believe in the individual’s dream.

  • wemmie2002

    The American Dream is something that any American can want and uptain. While it may be more difficult for some than for others. It all depends on the dream. There are great differences between people born into the upperclass, middle-class, or lower class.

  • Sneha

    The American Dream, in my opinion, is having enough to succeed. I think that is the general idea the American Dream revolves around for most Americans. This ties into things like house ownership, higher education, and financial aid if someone needs it. So for me, things like education are of high priority, since they set up success in the future, and if someone wants to achieve the American Dream, I think they should prioritize these things highly as well.

  • Jack Boomer

    The American Dream, nowadays, equals opportunity. Everyone can have their own American Dream because I know I have my own American Dream. Personally, I want to be a professional athlete, but I know that others have different dreams. That is why America is so great. It can offer every opportunity to accomplish one’s dream. That is what makes America, America. You have the freedom to follow your dream and gives you ample opportunity to accomplish it.
    http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2009/04/american-dream200904
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Dream

  • Victor Herrera

    The American Dream to me is working hard and getting far in life . It necessarily is not about money for me. It working as hard as you can for as long as you can so you can a happy and long retirement. The goal is retirement for me . The American dream is retirement fore because you worked hard all your life now you can stay at home and not work another day in your life.

  • Matthew Krump

    To me The American Dream is being happy. If you are an adult in today’s world and you are happy then to me, you are living the American Dream. Everything else that you may or may not have has no effect on your happiness. You can be happy without material possessions, and if you’re genuinely happy and content then you can count yourself lucky

  • Rachel

    Traditionally, the American dream is to have a decent job and provide for your loving family, even in the face of a difficult past. In a way, that’s what I want from life. I want to have a good job, that allows me to live comfortably, with a happy family. The American dream can be interpreted differently by everyone, but the central concept is the same: to be successful, especially after experiencing hardships. Success is different to everyone, so the dream is different for each person.

  • omnia

    the American dream sounds to me sounds like going through a lot of tough times and struggling to make a living and slowly make it up to the top and have a lot of money and have a good family.
    to me it more like living in peace and happiness, outsiders always think of america as the land of the free but that is not really true and the american dream to me would be to live in the land of the free when you can do what you want but in the same time live in a safe environment and that is not all of America

  • Rob

    I define the American Dream as being able to do what your heart desires, as long as it is not jeopardizing anyone else’s desire. Whether that be pursuing self employment or travelling the United States, people should be allowed to pursue these things, cause this is the best country in the world.

  • Anthony

    The American Dream can vary from individual to individual, but essentially it is a dream to a successful life. With motivation and hard work, anyone should be able to pursue their own dreams and their own interests. I think that an American Dream for the country as a whole would be complete equality between genders, races, cultures, and any other type of differences even though it may be a slow but progressing process.

  • Lindsey

    I believe that the American Dream does not have a set checklist of things you must have to achieve it. Everyone wants different things to be happy, but the ability to pursue these things encompasses the idea of the “American Dream.” For me, I want to get a good education, have a job that I enjoy, live comfortably, and have a happy family. Home ownership and the access to higher education are viewed highly with my values.

  • Nataliya

    “The ‘American deam’ has powered the hopes and aspirations of Americans for generations. It began as a plain but revolutionary notion: each person has the right to pursue happiness, and the freedom to strive for a better life through hard work and fair ambition,” (http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/americandream/). The American dream has always been “a well-paying job, owning your own home and filling it with cool stuff, maybe even having a family and sending your kids to good schools and colleges”. For me, the American dream has always been that. Having the opportunity of good education and opportunity. Even if there is a new American Dream, education is still the most important part of the American dream. Everyone is trying to have their American dream. We accept many opportunities in America, we want to have our American dreams happen. In American everyone has their own ideas and priorities, everyone has their own American dream.

  • Cheng

    The “American Dream” is sum of every American’s dream. It was an idea that everyone can living the life they want after hard working. Everyone have different dreams and that is what makes America unique. For example, a immigrant might want to fit into the society; a professional’s dream will be success in one’s area. People now have different living standard and expectations from when it was first proposed, and the anticipation will always be changing. Once someone have a place to live, they will be looking for a new one and keep working hard.

  • Ben

    I think that the American Dream is to make something for yourself. People refer to America as “The Land of Opportunity”. If you work hard enough you can get what you want. My views may be skewed because I am a young white male who has never been discriminated against. There are no barriers holding me back. Institutional racism holds a lot of people back from the American dream. Even so, I believe if you work hard enough, you can get what you want.

  • Brandon

    The American dream to me Is how you spend your time making it. There are a lot of opportunities in america , where you can make something of yourself. Living now in the 21 century a lot of things has changed . The economy for america has gone up and down the past years making it hard for people to find a job and go to school. America is a good place to be , to live and making a living and being free do to what you want.america.day-dreamer.de/dream.htm

  • Chelsea

    I think the American Dream remains the same as it was a long time ago: Getting your education, a well paying job, supporting your family, and creating a better life for yourself. However, for many people the American Dream, is just that a dream. It is very had for others to get a well paying job without an education, it is even hard for others to get an education. Many things have changed this day in age, and although the “dream” is still alive it might not be achieved for everyone.

  • Courtney

    The american dream relates to me in many ways. First of all, i always want to proceed into a higher education that would allow me to get a really good job to be able to support myself. I dream of being able to have a great job as doctor, doing something that i love. I also dream of being able to have a good income so that i can have a very comfy lifestyle. All of the things that people used to think of for the american dream are all still very accurate, however more achievable now than in previous centuries.

  • Gabrielle

    Today, I think the American dream isn’t the same as in the past. It has become increasingly difficult to afford luxuries and materialistic things, it’s difficult to afford just necessities. So, I believe that the american dream is to have a stable, well-paying job that allows for a nice place to live and a nice vehicle that gets from a to b and looks decent. The dream of having a Mercedes and living in a mansion with a pool and money to spend on luxuries has been replaced with a dream of living comfortably, which many still have trouble doing. Standards have lessened, and people have learned to live graciously and be happy and grateful. The American dream used to be to have wealth, now I think people just want happiness and stability. I have a nice home, family, education and a good future if I do everything right, and sure a Mercedes and a private collection of designer shoes would be nice, but my dream is right here, I just need to embrace it.

  • Drew

    The american dream can mean many different things depending on the person. It can mean just having a middle class family with two kids and a stay at home mom or it can mean living in mansions making six figures. I don’t believe in the american dream quite frankly. I believe that everyone has their own dream. My dream is to make a very high salary, have a very imoportant job, have a loving wife with two or three kids. Everyone’s view of the american dream will be different form one another. If you would have asked people their view on the american dream 20+ years ago I think there would have been a more clearer view of it because there wasn’t as much competition as there is today for jobs and money.

  • Chosen one

    have you ever seen a llama. kiss a llama. taist a llama. llama llama llama llama llama DUCK.

  • Tamia

    The American dream is of course different for everyone because now people have more opportunities to do more than before. For me personally, a higher education is something very important to me, and something that I value along with some day being able to own a house and have a family. For some people, their dream may be to save money and not go to college right away. Everyone has different values and goal and now we are able to explore different goals. For me, success in the future looks like going to college and graduating, being able to travel, acquire a job, have a family and to be happy and content with the decisions that I will make

  • edburghard

    Newly Published 2015 American Dream States Report. How does your state rank in this FREE report? – http://strengtheningbrandamerica.com/tools/2015-american-dream-state-ranking-report/

  • Keyaira

    The American dream relates to anyone who wants to have a successful and meaningful life. A happy family, career, home, money, etc. are all of the things an American dream may consist of. To me, these is all very important things. I have always wanted to pursue my dreams and become the most successful person that I can be. I think that the American Dream is relevant not only to Americans but to others in different countries. For example, it is relevant to me because if my great grandma had never migrated here, our family would not be where we are today, and i would not have the opportunities given to me now.

Author

Youth Radio

Youth Radio is the Peabody Award-winning youth-driven production company headquartered in Oakland, California. For more Youth Radio stories and lesson ideas, check out www.youthradio.org .

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