I think I’m living a version of the American dream.
I grew up poor on a small farm in Florida. My parents divorced when I was 15. At 18, I became a teenage mother (and a single one soon after) who did not graduate from high school. 12 years later, I have earned an MA, taught English for 3 years at a small public college in Georgia, and am now in my first semester at William & Mary law school.
I think I’m living my version of the American dream for several reasons: I was the first person in my family to attend college (my father had not even graduated high school); I grew up dirt poor but am slowly working my way to a stable life where I do not have to live paycheck-to-paycheck; as a teen mom, I was exceptionally lucky to have the opportunities to continue my education. My version of the American Dream included temporary dependence upon “entitlement” programs in my quest to achieve my goals. My version of the American dream means my children will have benefits in life I was not afforded, and I believe making life better, generation by generation, is the ultimate American dream.
(On another note, we shall not speak of the student loan debt.)
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