A Chance for Change

Three stories from my family history that exemplify my American Creed.

By John W. from Bay High School in Ohio

     My American Creed is not dissimilar to the great American Dream. The ability to come with nothing and still have a good life, that you can pass on. A land of hope, where anyone can have a chance. My family, like so many others, is a clear example of this. I am honored to share these stories that exemplify my American Creed and show why I have it.

   1. My Nonna was born in Italy. She was put in charge of all chores and duties around the house at a very young age and was treated horribly. Incredibly, she was always strong and intelligent. For example, while buying groceries, she devised a way to slowly get her father out of debt, without even knowing. She is also one of the most forgiving and kindest people I will ever meet. She holds no external grudge against her brothers and father, who basically treated her as a servant. She even has fun anecdotes about them and about her childhood. It is heartbreaking to know what she went through and I will always idolize her for her resolve and resilience. After meeting my Nonno, she immigrated to the US and now lives a rather affluent life with an amazing family that she loves very much.

   2. My Nonno’s parents (or grandparents, I forget which) immigrated to the US from Italy. He eventually joined the Air Force for its low cost college and because he would either join the Air Force or be drafted into the Army. He made a request to be stationed in Italy, and that was a very long shot because he was over two years into a four year commitment and the Vietnam War was doing its Vietnam War thing. Miraculously, he got it and was lucky enough to meet my Nonna. They wed and live a very happy life together.

   3. My Lola was the oldest of five kids. She was very hard working, starting babysitting at 11, and very determined to get through college. She had to work very hard to do so, paying for her educating herself. Eventually, she got a Masters in education and has loved her work. She started from a lower-middle class and was able to get a degree and a job and family that she loves through hard work. If that is not a perfect example of the American Dream, I don’t know what is.

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