AMERICA: The Dream
January 23, 2020 | PBAT MAGAZINE
By Christofer Asmat & Farzad Hoseinie
“In my home country there was not resources, and here is the US is a lot of education”. This is the feeling of Gabriela, a young girl of 15 years old who live in NYC and is a student of FIHS. She just came a few months ago to the U.S. and sees the difference between her home country of El Salvador and the United States. Gabriela’s feelings are shared by most of the students of Flushing International High School. Anderson, a 15 years old student in the 9th grade exclaimed, “Here (in the US) I have more opportunities than El Salvador.” Yoyo Nys, a student of 15 years old that is in 10th grade adds “In the Dominican Republic was less security, in the US I feel more safe.'' Likewise, “In Venezuela, I just got a few opportunities, now in the US I have more,'' says Victor a 10 grader of FIHS, who is 15 years old.
We interviewed many FIHS students as part of our investigation into whether the American Dream still exists, knowing that all of these interviews were made in 2019. Flushing International High School is a school that received a lot of immigrant students, most of them just arrived to the US, also all of them are from different countries and cultures. These young people are impressed about the difference between one country and makes us think that the American Dream is still alive and true and today.
FIHS Students at Congresswoman Meng's Office speaking about the American Dream with District Director Anthony J. Lemma
Over the years, the definition of the American dream has changed depending on the times and on the person. For many people the American Dream is based on education and economic opportunity, daily stability, safety, and having freedom of speech and freedom of religion. For others the reason for coming to America is seeking to escape from a country poorly controlled by its rulers, also called as a refugee.
The following graph is showing what students of Flushing International High School believing about American Dream
The U.S. today is the third most populous country in the world with 327.7 million people, it has the largest economy and the most powerful military. And what made America this great is that throughout its history America has always been a country of immigrants. People may choose to immigrate for a variety of reasons, such as employment opportunities, to escape a violent conflict, environmental factors, educational purposes, or to reunite with family. And immigrants to America have come from all over the world. In absolute numbers, the United States has a larger immigrant population than any other country, with 47 million immigrants as of 2015. This represents 19.1% of the 244 million international migrants worldwide, and 14.4% of the U.S. population.
Education and Economic Opportunity
For many people the American Dream is achieved by economic opportunity, finding a good job or have economic benefit. This is the case of Juliana, a school counselor at FIHS. She is a American Born, but is granddaughter of a family of migrants, originally from Colombia. “In Colombia just my grandpa work in the house, now in the US my mom work too.” she exclaimed. But also economy opportunity is based in give work opportunity to the people who live in the country.
For many the key to gaining a good job is through a good education. The U.S. has the second largest higher education system, and it is the top destination for globally mobile students. The New York education system, the NYSED offers a lot of opportunities to new students in the country and in the city. In some countries students can’t continue their education it’s because some of them may pay which is they can’t because they don’t have enough money to pay or may some of them because of so many problems, but when they come to the USA they want to continue their own education because here they have good opportunity better than they own country.
Right now in America immigrants have a good opportunity to go to school or college. Farshad Hosseinie is one of the immigrant students that he talks about their own country and U.S. education. “When I was in my country I couldn't continue my studies successfully because of the civil war that existed and the city was not safe to go to school, he said.” So, now I am in the United States and I have a good opportunity to become the person that I wish to be because U.S. gives us a lot of offer to do, for example here you don’t have to pay for school or college.
Freedom of Religion
The United States is a place known the freedom of religion and speech. The freedom is stated in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” In few words, the Amendment is saying that everyone in the United States has the right to practice his or her own religion, or no religion at all.
Contrarily, in some countries the government deprives people to believe in their respective religions, so many people come to America to find the best country to follow their religions with the freedom that they want. “For example, the religion of the people where I am from was Islam, but also the Christian Jews and Hindus lived there. After the Taliban conquered Afghanistan, most people were forced to leave Afghanistan because the Taliban harassed them.The Taliban believed that one should only worship Islam and adhere to Islam, so women and girls settled down and refused to go to school or out.” said Olam, 50 year old immigrant from Afghanistan. Also, “The extremist group was notorious for its treatment of women, banning most of them from working or going to school and lashing those who broke their strict edicts.” America is a great country to live in because allows you to follow whatever religion you like, as we see in this country are different people with different religions and there are also those who do not follow religion but still have a good relationship with each other.
Religions of the U.S.
As we can see this data represents a few percent of people from different countries that come to the United States. The majority religion country protestant which is 51.3% and the smallest group is other religions which is 1.2%. Freedom is what people are looking for nowadays, they want to find a place where they can be what they want and be respected, without discrimination. The American Dream truly exists. The United States make the difference in lifestyle than other countries. America gives more opportunities as a student, and a professional. Today, the United States still offers many programs of opportunities for immigrants that came to the country, including students.
The International High School, that are about 13 in NYC have the same model that offers, and we understand that students come from different backgrounds. "The school trying to give free sources that they need to be successful and offers experiences that the students will need to be a professional," said Ms. Rosmery.