Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest: WASHINGTON DC/BALTIMORE


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Your local contest deadline is: 

Monday, February 29, 2016

2015 Winner

Why I Am Glad America is a Nation of Immigrants

Jacqueline Alvarez, Basis Public Charter School, Washington D.C.


Throughout American history, millions of people around the world have left their homelands for a chance to start. a new life in this country---and they continue to come here to this day.


People who come to live in a new country are called immigrants. Over the past 400 years, immigrants have had different reasons to come to America. Some came to escape war, others for the freedom to practice the religion of their choice. Still others came for the opportunity to own land or simply for a chance to work and escape poverty.


I am glad the United States is a nation of immigrants, because I am a child who has parents from two different countries and have the opportunity to be around people from all around the world. That makes me feel very special and very proud about who I am.


My mom was born in Romania. She came in the United States to be with my grandparents back in 1990. My grandfather came to USA because his country was governed by the communist party under the doctrine of Marxist Leninist atheism, and he was looking for a better life for him and his family. My mom was very amazed by Washington D.C. as she grew up in a small city in Romania. She said that learning English and Spanish was quite difficult.  My mom told me about being scared in Romania because of the communist party.  If you were saying something, complaining about the way you are living or against the party, they put you and your family in jail like criminals. She likes that the United States is free and people are good and help each other. Here is more chance for the truth.


My dad was born in El Salvador. From 1980 -1992, my father's country of origin, El Salvador, was entangled in a civil war.  My father lost his father because of this war. He died trying to protect the basic human rights of farmers, mothers and children. In 1983, when he was just eighteen years old, my father made a decision that would change his destiny. He would go to the U.S., to work and in that way he could send money back home. He said it was tough to learn a new language. His favorite part of the United States is that life is better here and there are so many opportunities.


People that come to the United States can get an education, have jobs, raise a family and they can be free. My immigrant parents are an example of courage and hard work. They see America as the land of prosperity and opportunity. This view is shared throughout American history, when the Native Americans first arrived, to the settlers forming their colonies, to the Industrial Revolution, to the gold rush, and to this very day. Many people die to reach this land full of promise for a better life.



2014 Winner


By Elena Rubens Goldfarb

My country is full of immigrants

Different people everywhere

People of all shapes and sizes

People of all colors.


My country is full of immigrants

People from different places

People of different heritage

With different stories to tell.


My country is full of immigrants

A country with many religions

Each religion brings a new belief

New beliefs to share with my country.


My country is full of immigrants

They bring different things to learn

Each new extraordinary thing we learn

That is different from what we know

Helps our minds to grow.


My country is full of immigrants

It is unique

We come together because of the relationships

Between one another

That make us a community.


My country is full of immigrants

Each state is different in its own way

Each person helps contribute to make each state individual

But also a part of a whole.


My country is the United States.


© American Immigration Council 2014


2013 DC Area Winner

Revanth V.  5th grade

Green Briar West Elementary School

Centreville, VA



Have you ever thought about why there are so many different races in America? It is because of immigration as people believe this is a land of opportunity. Over one-seventeenth of the population was born in a foreign country. In 2009 12.5% of all business were owned by immigrants. What does that statistics mean? They mean that immigrants are an important part of American life. They have helped strengthen and enrich the very fabric of American life. Immigrants are the reason why America is like what it is today.

Immigrants are the pigments that are used to color America. America is like a field of gophers. Each new gopher is an immigrant. It is not hard to see but immigrants are the very reason that American food, architecture and economy are not the same as they were 50 years ago.

One example of a story of immigration was my own grandfather. He started his life as a menial worker under British rule in India. He faced many atrocities during the Indian Revolutionary War. He immigrated to America and got a job as a clerk. He wanted to have a better future for his kids. He toiled very hard, saved money and provided good education for his kids. He knew they would have a bright future here if they worked hard.

Diversity is glue that binds us all. It allows me to play with different kinds of people. It lets me experience different cultures and food. I celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and Kwanzaa with equal fervor as I celebrate Diwali. America is truly a land of opportunity. They can always have a better way of life. Some immigrants could become celebrities. One example is Patrick Ewing. Diversity is what makes America the most beautiful country the world has ever seen.

Click the In the News box to learn about last year's DC/Baltimore area winners