Good morning and welcome everyone. I am very pleased to be here today. For those of you who may not know me, I am also a student here at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. My name is James Smith and I am here to talk about the American Dream and how it’s changed over time. I have split my speech up into two parts. Firstly, I want to talk about people’s different perceptions of the American Dream and afterwards I want to discuss how you can achieve the American Dream in this day and age. If you have any questions, I’ll gladly answer them at the end of my speech.

As mentioned before, I would like to start by talking about people’s different perceptions of the American Dream.

The American Dream is the belief that anyone, no matter where they were born or to which social class they were born into, can accomplish their own version of success if they work hard enough and have enough willpower.

This is without a doubt one of the most controversial topics regarding the American Dream. The American Dream is supposed to be a beacon of hope for the future, but is that still the case? Unfortunately, not for the Stewart family living in the same city in which we attend this University, Baltimore. Three generations of the family live in an abandoned house with only 30 dollars a day to survive.

Besides that, they are lacking general necessities such as warmth, water and even food.1 According to the American Dream, they should be able to get out of poverty by being able to educate themselves and get a job.

But how are you supposed to educate yourself when you are the constant victim of bullying leading to lower grades, lack of self-esteem and the risk of dropping out of school, leading to poor job possibilities?

I can assure you that these kids have lost all hope of the American Dream and according to the article “Less than 20% of Americans say they’re living the American Dream – here’s why”2, the Stewart family’s kids are not the only ones. As mentioned in the title of the article, less than 20% of Americans say they are living the American Dream.