Hi everyone, and welcome to freshman history class! ;)
We would like to say “just kidding!”, but in all honesty, it is so easy for us to sometimes forget where we come from and the values we once had. We've found it can be easy to become complacent to take the time to remember what our country stands for. The reality is, America is built on a unique foundation made up of a unique kind of people. Every single one of us comes from all kinds of backgrounds, religions, and races with one thing that binds us together: The American Dream. For those of us who might need a quick reminder, the American Dream is the foundational belief that we have control over our own destiny. With hard work, deep desire, and perhaps a little help from our friends, we have the ability to make our dreams happen.
...Once upon a time, men made the long journey to San Francisco to find gold. Racial animosity towards the Chinese was intense, but all the while, Chinese women were quietly trafficked from China to California and sold into prostitution. Once upon a time, Donaldina Cameron, a young Scottish-American, came to California to teach sewing in Chinatown. She planned to stay one year, but stayed 40--her heart was stolen by the young Chinese women forced into prostitution. Donaldina courageously and single-handedly rescued over 2,000 Chinese women and raised hundreds of them as her own daughters. Donaldina believed that the American Dream wasn’t just for her… it was for her newfound and precious daughter’s world as well.
...Once upon a time, in the dead of night, deep in the woods, dark shapes fled. The sounds of dogs barking and men shouting left even the trees shaking with fear. You’d think this hunt was for animals; instead, the men hunted humans. Once upon a time, Harriet Tubman courageously fled from her home and the life she knew. Although men may have owned her body, they did not own her mind. Though Harriet found freedom in Philadelphia, she knew this freedom was not just meant for her. Harriet made 13 total trips and freed over 70 slaves. Harriet tenaciously fought for liberty because she knew that the American Dream was meant for all races.
...Once upon a time, a plane crash happened, and the world stopped for one woman after losing the love of her life one fateful afternoon. Once upon a time, that same woman was in and out of relationships, found herself with a young daughter, and struggling to get up every day. Heidi Ganahl one day realized that to get back, you have to give back. So she got up, created a $100 million dollar company, ran for office (and won), raised a loving family, and started a company to empower young women to find a community and belonging. And SheFactor was born, as a way to invite every single woman into the American Dream. (Because us girls are just better together, are we right!?)
What binds us together is not that we look the same, eat the same, speak the same, or act the same; what binds us together is that we share the belief that we can (and will) control our own destiny-- we have the ability to pursue happiness, whatever that looks like to you. The American Dream is not about a little white picket fence, 4 cute kids, comfort, and ease. The American Dream is about grit, resilience, and hope for the future. There is something different about us. We come from a tough people, a people that transcends culture and race. These women remind us that, though our experiences, challenges, and trials may not look the same, together we are better. The American Dream isn’t simply just about pursuing your own happiness, but also about making sure your neighbor, family, community, and future generations are a part of that as well!