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Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream


Mario Molina

Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Mario Molina: What the American Dream means to me is that it's really a world of opportunities. I came to the United States, of course, as a foreign student, but you really have the same opportunities as any other student that was born here or not, and have the opportunities to access whatever was available in the system, and to participate in the functioning of the society here. For example, at the moment I'm a member of PCAST, which is a presidential committee of advisors on science and technology. So it's a group of people from the scientific world and from industry, and we advise the administration as to science policy and technology and so on. So it's something that I can do, even though I was born in Mexico. As a foreigner to begin with -- but of course very much so -- I was part of the American Dream, if you want, of actively participating in the way the society functions in this country. So it's really just a marvelous opportunity, this really openness, that the opportunity's out there, you just have to work hard. And of course, part of it is local, so you have to have some love to be able to achieve. But at least you know that it's open to everyone.
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Scott Momaday

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Scott Momaday: It means a great deal actually, and the reason it does has something to do with my being a Native American. I belong to a race of people, a society that has been oppressed. We, the Indians, have had a hard time, for a long time. We have had to endure a great deal, but the dream means as much to us as it does to anyone. You'll never find a greater patriot than an American Indian. It's not by accident that I, the member of the Gourd Dance society, go to Oklahoma to dance on the 4th of July, you know. It is not an accident that the greatest honor that can come to an American Indian in my generation is to serve in the Armed Forces. And the veterans who have given their lives are greatly honored by the Native people. So, the dream is very important to me, and it is, I think, to Native Americans in general.
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Greg Mortenson

Best-Selling Author, Three Cups of Tea

Greg Mortenson: When I first came back to the country of my birth, I was 15. I hadn't spent any time here. And so my first hour in high school, I got beaten up, and the kids put a garbage can over my head, and they started hitting me. And it was because I said, "I'm an African." And it was, as I mentioned, there was confusion about that. And it was very devastating. I wanted to run back to Africa, which I thought was my home at the time. But when I joined -- we were completely broke -- I was 17 years old, four days after high school. I joined the U.S. Army in '75. And it wasn't a popular time to go into the Army. It was right after the Vietnam War. And actually, it was in the Army where I met men and women from all across America, from the inner city, from ranches, from farms, from rural areas and urban areas and blacks and people of Hispanic descent. And I realized that this is a great country. And I saw people coming together. I also saw that there was dissension in the upper ranks about what happened in Vietnam. And that being an American, it's okay to be a patriot. I still get goose bumps when I sing the national anthem. But at the same time, I feel that it's very important that when we feel that our country is doing something, like in Iraq or something, that we can stand up and voice our opinion. And also to listen to the people.
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Greg Mortenson

Best-Selling Author, Three Cups of Tea

To be an American also is to be able to dream the ultimate dreams. This country is still the greatest place on earth. If somebody who can come from nowhere and be not afraid to have the biggest dream you could try and fulfill, and it could happen. It's also I think a country that we need to -- America really is not so much about being American, but we are a global community. We've come from all over the world, including the natives who first lived here. So we are pretty much a microcosm of the global community. And when we think of ourselves as Americans, I think it's important that we see ourselves as part of the whole global community. I think we also need to export our good values that we have as Americans. We are people of great generosity. We're people of courage. We're people of compassion. That's what people think of individual Americans as. We have that value. And I think when we're looking at policy, ultimately politics isn't going to change the world. It's people who are going to change the world. And it starts building relationships one at a time.
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