This I Believe

Jessica - Flagstaff, Arizona
Entered on October 31, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

America is the land of opportunity. Not for just the lucky ones, and not just for the rich. I believe America is the land of opportunity for everyone and I believe anyone can prosper in this beautiful country. The way America was founded is so unique; this country has overcome so much to get where we are today. We have an amazing government and a solid Constitution. Anything is possible in America.

Let me share the personal story on which my belief is based upon. My father was the middle child of seven. He lived in a small farming town in Minnesota and his parents were, indeed, farmers. He knew growing up there’d be no money for college. It was always a cold, hard fact. There was barely money for new shoes each year. My father looked around as he was growing up and realized he never wanted to live that way, struggling. He knew two pieces of information from an early age: America is the land of opportunity, and knowledge is power.

So he read. He read and he studied hard and he maintained extremely good grades throughout all his years. He did not attend a prestigious elementary, junior high, or high school. He did not go to Harvard. He did, however, make sure he was top of his class every year and work as hard as he could. At the end of his senior year, he was accepted to Minnesota State and he applied for any loans and scholarships he could. After completing regular college, he then took out more loans so he could attend St. John’s University for law school.

Eighteen years later, he is a prestigious man in the town of Bullhead City, Arizona with a very successful law firm. I have always grown up the way my father envisioned it. I have never gone without, but at the same time he has implanted the importance of his values and morals deep within me. I understand how important it is to work for what you have, and that even though I am not paying for my own schooling, I appreciate it. I appreciate it because I know his story and I know he worked hard so that I could live this life. It’s love; and I am going to love myself and my future family just as much. I will tell them my father’s story and I will work hard to make sure they succeed as I will. We live in America. No matter who you are or where you come from, if you want it bad enough, you can succeed. This I believe.