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Age: 31 Country of birth: Ghana Neighborhood: Lexington, Kentucky Occupation: Student What brought you here? I came because of school. I went to Northern Kentucky University, and I completed a degree in economics. But now I’m switching careers to nursing, so I’m back in school at the University of Kentucky. Does anything remind you of home? My friends and family. What still seems foreign? Originally, I had some culture shock. But I am beginning to get used to things. Americans are a little bit more individualistic. In my culture and background, families are always united, but here it’s different, an independent lifestyle. What’s your American Dream? Most of my goals are being fulfilled right now. Becoming a citizen is one of my biggest goals. Graduating with a degree in economics was one of my biggest goals. Hopefully, by next year, I have a degree in nursing. I want one of the biggest houses. I want to have a good life. That’s what America is about.
Age: 46 Country of Birth: Nova Scotia, Canada Neighborhood: Cheviot Occupation: Nursing What brought you here? I’ve been here for 10 years. I guess I just want to start over. Does anything remind you of home? This past winter did. The cold. What still seems foreign? Sayings like “Please.” The brand names in the stores. I still notice the accents. What’s your American Dream? I want to be on Survivor. Once I’m a citizen, I’ll be able to try out for Survivor. Photographed with her boyfriend, Mike Prell.
Age: 49 Country of birth: China Neighborhood: West Chester Occupation: Food scientist What brought you here? School. I finished my Ph.D. at The University of Georgia. Does anything remind you of home? Nothing, really. However, it is a great opportunity to be here. I am settled here. I do miss home, but every time I go back to visit, after a few weeks, I’m ready to come back here. I have two American-born boys. What still seems foreign? Everywhere I’ve lived has weird parts. I’ve lived in Europe and different places. However, this is the place for better opportunities and a better life. What is your American Dream? I want to be happy. I want to be free to express myself, and enjoy a great life. I hope the children have a better life than me. Photographed with her son, James Wright, whose father is from Jamaica.
Age: 50 Country of Birth: Venezuela Neighborhood: Fairfield Occupation: Spanish teacher What brought you here? My situation in my country was not very good. I came here for refuge. Does anything remind you of home? The streets, the highways. What still seems foreign? The mall! What’s your American Dream? To see my stepsons grow up right here in the United States. Photographed with husband Rogeliu Abad.
Age: 58 Country of Birth: Germany Neighborhood: Hamilton Occupation: Homemaker What brought you here? I met my husband in Germany. He was a second lieutenant when we got married and we moved to the United States. Does anything remind you of home? I’m involved in the German Club and Oktoberfest. After moving around with the military, I finally found my home and it’s Cincinnati. I love it. What still seems foreign? The driving. Because it seems like it’s too relaxed. People don’t pay attention to the driving and are too much on their cell phones. What’s your American Dream? I guess my dream was fulfilled in finally reaching my destination and my citizenship. Photographed with husband David Elleman.
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