Only a few generations ago, my family did not have a lot of money to spare. They struggled to find jobs that would allow them to live comfortably. The reason that my family succeeded was through the hard work and determination of my grandparents and parents, lifting a once struggling family up through the ranks of society. Although there are many factors to achieving the American Dream, the main one is hard work and determination because without it, even if you get lucky, you won't be able to use that luck to your advantage.
On my dad’s side, my grandparents were the first ones in either of their families to go to college. My grandpa went to school for physics, and my grandmother for chemistry. This schooling that they got allowed for them to receive well paying jobs, setting up future generations of my family for success. They understand the importance of this hard work, and know that college is very important. They even set aside money to help pay for the college of all of their grandchildren because they know how important it is. This hard work and dedication is also present on my mom’s side, where my grandpa worked in the navy as a firefighter. This was an intense, difficult job, but it put food on the table so my grandpa kept up the hard work. Every day, he would go into the engine rooms of the boat, putting out fires and sometimes saving the lives of many crewmembers. Once he finished his service with the Navy, he came out with the skills to get a job good enough to send my mom and my uncle to school for whatever they wanted to do. Finally, my father became the first person in the family to get a masters degree, and has furthered the legacy that my grandparents began, and moved up even further in the ranks of society.
Now that the family raised themselves up from the gutter into a world of success and prosperity, it is up to the future generations to carry on that legacy. Not some, but all of my cousins are attending or planning to attend college at well reputed universities. All of us are putting in the time and effort to be just as successful as our predecessors, and create our own legacies that our families will be proud of in the future, just like we are proud of our parents and grandparents.