This I Believe

Daniel - Countryside, Illinois
Entered on October 2, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

From Poverty to Prominence

The year of 1906.This was the year when my great-grandmother, Vlasta Strombach, was born. My great-grandmother Vlasta was born in Czechoslovakia to a poverty stricken family that had many debts and had a very hard and terrible time making a living in this country. At the time, the country of Czechoslovakia was not the greatest place to live, for there were people with diseases that there was no cure for yet, and many of the people lived on the streets, dying of hunger and illnesses unknown to the people of the world today. My great-grandmother was living in these terrible conditions, receiving poor schooling, living on scraps of food, and living in a house smaller than anyone can imagine. My great-grandmother put up with all of these struggles for fourteen longs years that probably seemed like an eternity to her.

When my great-grandmother turned fifteen in 1921, her parents decided to leave Czechoslovakia and travel to the land of the American dreams. Her parents believed that by moving to America, that they would be able to bring up my great-grandmother under a society filled with opportunities. My great-grandmother and her parents left their home and what little belongings they had and traveled on a boat to America. They came with absolutely nothing, only the clothes on their backs. Once my great-grandmother Vlasta and her parents reached Stanton Island in New York, they were brought to the testing facility in the island. They were tested for diseases and disabilities, and they were given cards to clarify them as citizens. But, if you had the slightest disability or physical impairment, you were rejected and sent back home. After days of testing and experiments, my great-grandmother was finally announced to be a legal citizen. After they reached American soil, my great-grandmother Vlasta and her family was transported to Chicago, and were set free by the government.

After years of hardship, my great-grandmother started hitting success. One job after another, my great-grandmother became a person that no one would know back in Czechoslovakia. She became prosperous and began a new lifestyle. Through her work money, my great-grandmother went to college, and became a doctor. From being a poor, unsuccessful woman, she became very prominent.

I believe that if anybody, no matter who you are or where you come from, that if you put your mind to it, and work and try your very best, you can accomplish and do anything you want to in your lifetime. My great-grandmother Vlasta brought this belief into my own eyes, because she grew up as a poor girl born in the country of Czechoslovakia, with nothing to give her hope or look forward for success. She lived with no idea of what would happen to her as she grew and became older. From a poor woman to a prominent doctor, I now believe because of my great-grandmother that you can do anything you want to. If someone can accomplish the feat that my great-grandmother accomplished, they can overcome any hardships faced in their lifetime. Whether you become a lawyer, a doctor, an athlete, or anything else that you love, I believe that you can do it if you focus and set your mind on accomplishing that goal. If you quit at trying to accomplish this, you will wish that you would have tried harder. There is no sense in doing something with your life that you do not like, so I feel that everyone should try and accomplish their life goal, because I believe that this is possible.