As the world changes, so do our dreams for the future. In our final episode of the second season, the Youth Aloud podcast team voice their opinions about the “American Dream” in a candid group discussion. Beginning with their stories of growing up with immigrant parents, these high school students define what they see as the American Dream in the modern world and how they work to create opportunities to achieve their personal dreams for the future.
“My parents were scared to teach me my native language as well because I guess it comes with an idea of having to assimilate and sacrifice your culture to be American enough, which is kinda sad because I’ll always have this duality between being Ethiopian and being American, and never being enough of the other. I guess the point is, is there can be a cost to the American Dream or some sacrifices that are made, which shouldn’t be necessary. You know, you shouldn’t have to lose your language to be promised the opportunities that were so promised.”-Hawi
“The problem is that not everybody had those same opportunities that I did. It’s not that I intentionally cheated my way through something like the Varsity Blues scandal, it’s just that I’m aware that not everybody can afford tutors and the fancy extracurriculars that cost a lot of money, and we’ve got to do a better job of addressing income inequality or making these programs more accessible so that the idea of any semblance of the American Dream or just the capability to achieve any dream is a reality.”– Sophie
This episode is a rich conversation between three first generation high school students with varying experiences and poignant observations about what it means to achieve the “American Dream”. They explore different obstacles various immigrant groups face, as well as the opportunities people are afforded, that impact their paths to achieving their dreams in the U.S. They also explore many thoughtful questions. What do you have to give up to achieve the American Dream? How can we help create equitable opportunities in our communities? And, what is our own American Dream?
“Most of the time the sort of positive and optimistic parts of myself believe that if I work hard enough and genuinely draw on all the support – I’m so lucky to have so much support from my family and friends – if I draw on the support from them and use all the resources that I have at my disposal, I genuinely think that I can achieve whatever I want to.”-Mela
We hope you enjoy these personal stories and thoughtful discussion that wraps up Season 2 of Youth Aloud!