Thankful to live in the land of opportunity |

Thankful to live in the land of opportunity

Deadlines are looming and I am immersed in the process of college and scholarship applications. I came across a scholarship essay this weekend which asked me to describe an experience with diversity which has affected my life.

My first thought was, alright then, I can’t do this one. I’m a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, healthy, privileged, white, Anglo Saxon Protestant kid, living in a vibrant resort community. There’s nothing diverse about that.

But then, I realized that though I am not a minority myself, I live in Park City where there is a significant minority population of Latin Americans whose lives intermingle with mine.

The majority of our Latin American population came to this town in search of a better life. These immigrants are working hard to take advantage of the opportunities available here. I am sometimes prone to taking my many privileges for granted and this makes me appreciate all that I have.

I realize how lucky I am to have simply been born into my financial ease in this safe, beautiful town with good educational opportunities. My great-grandparents already went through everything that the modern immigrants are going through right now. They had to face uncertainties of the New World, learn the new language, become citizens, and work hard to make a living and build a future for their children and their children’s children.

Generations into the future, I hope that Park City’s minority population will be as well adapted, accepted, and secure as I am, thanks to my ancestors who took a similar leap to start a new life in America.

It has been said that a fairly good measure of the quality of life in any given country is the number of people who want in compared to the number of people who want out. Here in the United States of America, the immigration quota is completely filled and additionally, as of September 2005, there are an estimated 12 million or more illegal immigrants residing in the country according to the Numbers USA Education and Research Foundation.

I searched, but I could not find any statistics on emigration out of the USA. The search engine kept asking me if I meant "immigration" which means migration to a place rather than from a place. Overall, this indicates that the quality of life in the U.S. is pretty attractive. Of course it’s not perfect, but many people from other countries would sacrifice everything they know to come here.

I am very thankful to live in Park City, Utah, U.S.A. I am thankful that there are many opportunities available to me and also available to the variety of people who live here and choose to apply themselves.

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