Aspiring Americans

I'll be illustrating my American creed through my dzi dzi (grandpa in Polish) along with inspiring individuals who contributed to the documentary American Creed. My creed is a diamond whose facets are education, nature, and governmental awareness.

By Cydney W. from Chugiak High School in Alaska

Narrative for Visual Project Component

Slide One:

America has many facets, like a patriotic diamond, and its creed is the most important one. I’ll be exploring my American creed through one of my role models. My dzi dzi, (grandpa in Polish) Bowen Doerr is a prime example of how my family history has helped me define what it means to live the American Dream.

Slide Two:

What is the American Dream exactly? According to Mark Meckler in American Creed "the American Dream is an ideal that people carry in their heads that they can come to this country and build whatever they desire” and I agree with him. What is America if not the land of dreamers and visionaries? Encapsulating this sentiment, Junot Diaz says in essence, “America is a dream.”

Slide Three:

My grandfather Bowen began his dream after marrying the love of his life.

Slide Four:

When Dzi Dzi embarked on his journey from New York to San Jose, California in 1967 with his wife Marion Doerr my babci, he took a huge step towards his dream.

Slide Five:

So what now?

Slide Six:

Of course you can’t just move to the West Coast without a purpose. His was to pursue his passion for teaching because as Dr. Condaleeza Rice says, “You can do whatever you want but you can’t leave anyone behind.” He believes that education is one of the most important ways society can evolve and progress while keeping everyone on the same page. He taught at Kennedy Junior High School for 35 years and took great pride in his job: he always went the extra mile for his students. It was never just a source of income to him, it was a source of liveliness.

Slide Seven:

Along with education, family is one of his core values. Soon after Marion and he became financially stable, they started a family. First they had Carolyn, my aunt, then Michelle, my mom, and lastly Robert, my uncle. In addition to being a teacher he was a family man, consistently exemplifying compassion.

Slide Eight:

While it’s true education is very important, so is nature. America is so much more than just the people in it. You can’t have a country without land for it to grow on so nature is very important. Branching back to education, there’s a lot that can be learned from nature, both about life and yourself. Delving into the world’s forests can enlighten us on how life cycles around us and provide a peaceful environment for self discovery.

Slide Nine:

So it is vital as a country to have an educated citizenry and also have flourishing land for us to live on.

Slide Ten:

As vital as an educated citizenry and thriving lands is to America, governmental awareness is also a key player. As Sergeant Tegan Griffith says “it’s refreshing to see people paying attention to the government.” With that though, there’s a difference in productivity between a country of people that merely pay attention to the government and those who truly understand how it works and why it is the way it is. We have to take into consideration this question: how can we understand our government and its principals if we are uneducated and/or uninformed? So again, education is key because an uneducated nation is a useless nation. Back when the White House would host annual Easter egg hunts, Dzi Dzi would take his students on a field trip across the country so that they could partake in it. This was because he viewed it as a place everyone should visit at least once in their life so they feel more connected to the government. He brought my mom this glass egg as a souvenir one year. For me this symbolizes the community aspect of America.

Slide Eleven:

How do I celebrate these tenets?

Slide Twelve:

In American Creed, Principle Deidre Prevett advocates that “education is the key to success.” I can definitely vouch for her on that notion. I take school very seriously because I see the doors it can open for me later in life and like my dzi dzi Bowen, I find passion in learning. Tying into that work ethic is the make it or break it variable on if we’ll succeed in education. Work ethic doesn’t just matter in school, it matters in life.

Slide Thirteen:

Nature is another major aspect of my American creed. I actively immerse myself through hiking and outdoor meditation. I wouldn’t be where I am today if i didn’t have these wild spaces to keep me grounded. I aspire to, like Dzi Dzi, visit a majority if not all of America’s national parks.

Slide Fourteen:

Government is also a vital piece of the puzzle. I try my best to stay up to date on the current developments of our country’s government, which is especially important in today’s age of fake news and biased media sources. Today I haven’t encountered any issues I feel fervently enough about to involve myself in. This is due to the backlash I could receive but if there was something urgent enough to me, I would make great use of my voice in society.

Slide Fifteen:

A person’s voice is their greatest virtue.

More letters from Chugiak High School

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More letters about "community", "dream", "family", and "government"

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Writing Our Future: American Creed is part of the National Writing Project’s family of youth publishing projects, all gathered under the Writing Our Future initiative.

Writing Our Future projects are designed by educators for educators and the young people they work with. Intended for use in schools, libraries, and other educational settings. All projects are COPPA compliant and educator-managed. NWP is committed to supporting young people’s writing and civic participation by providing a safe and supportive environment for youth writing, media creation, sharing, and publishing.