By Cara Demers
The mere idea of the “American Dream” has historically meant far more than it may today. Although I haven’t ever “pulled myself up by my bootstraps,” as it’s often referred to, I’m going to touch on somebody who did: my father.
I’ve grown up listening to countless stories about my dad’s humble beginnings. He grew up in Lawrence, Massachusetts which was essentially a slum outside of Boston. His mother was a single mom raising three kids onf two full-time jobs. They lived on food stamps and hand-me-downs.
His sister was a high school dropout and teenage mother. My father and his brother were forced to work and help support the household whenever they weren’t in school. Before he’d even finished high school, his friends began to turn to crime and violence. The odds couldn’t have been less in his favor.
Despite this, my father currently runs the same company that once hired him as a clueless high school kid. He left Lawrence and now has a family and a beautiful home. He’s provided more for my brother and I than I know he could’ve ever imagined having as a kid.
Although he didn’t immigrate here, it is still an American Dream. He didn’t get a college degree, nor was he given a surplus of opportunities. But that doesn’t mean anything. Perhaps the idea of the American Dream may be diminishing, but my father’s story gives me at least a little bit of hope.