Op-Ed – Thoughts On The American Dream

By Tyler Baum – 12th Grade, K12 International Academy

The American Dream is a complex and ambiguous ethos often referenced by folks in the United States and abroad. Examples of those who have achieved The American Dream are very subjective and intimate; however, I have long envisioned an explicit set of guidelines for my definition of this storied principle known to many as The American Dream, and Richard Sherman has undeniably achieved nearly all of it. Sherman was raised in Compton, California, a troubled suburb of Los Angeles plagued with ubiquitous hostility and tumult in the 1990s. Despite his strident surroundings, Sherman used his ceaseless leadership skills and perseverance to defy habitual skepticism and carve his own avenue to triumph. A quality that American writer and historian James Adams documented in his 1931 coining of the phrase “The American Dream”, Richard Sherman remained ceaseless and galvanized “regardless of social class or circumstances of birth”. An exemplary young man who strove for a future in academia and athletics, Sherman defeated every trial he faced, and became the Salutatorian of his high school class, en route to Stanford University to pursue a degree in Communications while a wide receiver and cornerback for the esteemed Stanford Cardinal football team. Sherman graduated from Stanford University in 2010 and continued to surmount adversity as a model for my American Dream, moving on to his present career as a cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks in the National Football League. Off the field, Richard Sherman’s dedication to providing students in low-income communities with clothes and school supplies is an attribute that I will forever admire and yearn to emulate. From academics to athletics, community involvement to leadership, Richard Sherman exemplifies the characteristics and set of unequivocal guidelines I have identified as my interpretation of The American Dream.


Tyler Baum 1 Tyler Baum is a rising senior at the K12 International Academy and is an active contributor to the iGlobe Newspaper.  He hails from Irwin, PA and plays travel ice hockey and baseball, skis, and enjoys history and visiting national parks.  He lives with a host family in the Washington, D.C. metro area to play ice hockey.

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