Academy of Achievement Logo
Home
Achiever Gallery
Keys to Success
 Passion
 Vision
 Preparation
 Courage
 Perseverance
 Integrity
 + The American Dream
Achievement Podcasts
About the Academy
For Teachers

Search the site

Academy Careers

 
 
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


Jessye Norman

Legendary Opera Soprano

Jessye Norman: The American Dream means to me that people who need the support that can only be given by a government, that they are given what is needed in order to live, not just to survive but to thrive. I am so exhausted from hearing this business about pulling one's self up by one's bootstraps. There are people in our country that are not wearing boots. And that not to understand that it is the responsibility of a society to look out for the least of us is, for me, a very wrong way of looking at life and living. The American Dream is realized only when we come to the point of understanding, when we see a person that is not doing very well in life, if we can understand that "there (but for) the grace of God go I," and that it is our responsibility to lend a hand, a hand up. People don't want a handout, they want a hand up. And the American Dream, to me, is understanding and participating in that. Not achieving something on one's own and letting that be all that happens in one's life, but to understand sometimes you need to reach back. Sometimes you've got to reach on the side and say, "Hey, come along. Don't be sad. This is going to work out. You'll never walk alone."
View Interview with Jessye Norman
View Biography of Jessye Norman
View Profile of Jessye Norman
View Photo Gallery of Jessye Norman



Antonia Novello

Former Surgeon General of the United States

The American dream continues because every time that I speak, somebody believes that they can be me. Little kid, little island, a good pushy mother we all have, almost a mother that took care of you alone. Twenty-five percent of our population do that, single mothers taking care of their kids. But, more important, not rich, not poor -- normal American citizen making it to the top without political connections. Now the kids want to be somebody. And when they look at the Surgeon General of 1990, it's feasibly possible that they can be me. Not for what I have accomplished, but because of the life that I lived that is equal to so many out there. And I'm someone that they can touch and say, "Hey, she did it. Absolutely. I can too."
View Interview with Antonia Novello
View Biography of Antonia Novello
View Profile of Antonia Novello
View Photo Gallery of Antonia Novello



Antonia Novello

Former Surgeon General of the United States

If you do not know where you're going, you are already there. The second thing is the world owes you nothing. To believe that the world will get you everything you want because you're a good kid and you studied is like believing that a bull is not going to hit you because you're a vegetarian. So, you must be able to do good. The third one is take a stand and believe in something. And those were the words of Goethe. Goethe said, "The hottest space in hell will be saved for those that during the time of conflict decided to stay neutral." So take a stand. But the most important one is number four, which is what has been said many times by some members of the academy. Service is the rent you pay for living, and that service is what sets you apart. Service to God, to the country, to the community, and to yourself. But most importantly, service. So, when you do all those four, absolutely the American dream will be found, and you will be part of it.
View Interview with Antonia Novello
View Biography of Antonia Novello
View Profile of Antonia Novello
View Photo Gallery of Antonia Novello



Joyce Carol Oates

National Book Award

Joyce Carol Oates: My parents inspired me by their example. They both grew up in the Depression, and both of them had to quit school when they were quite young to work, because there actually was no choice. So, though they're intelligent people -- and my father in particularly is interested in books and has subsequently, since his retirement, attended classes at the University of Buffalo -- nonetheless, they didn't have any opportunity to be educated. So they've always impressed me with their resilience, their good spirits, their courage. It wasn't an easy life, and I won't go into details, but there were a lot of problems. And yet they were never defeated.
View Interview with Joyce Carol Oates
View Biography of Joyce Carol Oates
View Profile of Joyce Carol Oates
View Photo Gallery of Joyce Carol Oates



Joyce Carol Oates

National Book Award

To the Puritans who came from England, America was a land of complete newness. And they were going to establish God's colony in the wilderness. And so the dream of the America was a religious dream, basically. America is a very religious nation. Not a mono-religious nation because there are many different strands of belief, but there's something about this nation that inspires people, or perhaps draws people, who are strongly idealistic. And even though they may be multimillionaires, ultimately, and they may be capitalists and very pragmatic and materialist in their methods, yet they seem to be stimulated by idealism. And they seem to carry with them these seeds of religion.
View Interview with Joyce Carol Oates
View Biography of Joyce Carol Oates
View Profile of Joyce Carol Oates
View Photo Gallery of Joyce Carol Oates



Browse The American Dream quotes by achiever last name

Previous Page

          

Next Page