Script for This I believe
In Rockdale, New York, there is a cemetery. In this cemetery there lies the first Matthew Hladik to have come to America, and his son, Matthew Hladik Jr. Matthew Hladik the third, is still alive today in New Jersey, and his son in lives Pennsylvania, and then there is me. I now stand as the fifth generation Hladik to live in America, and I believe the American Dream is not dead. I am proof the American Dream is not dead, just the way in which it was once perceived, is. Most people perceive the American Dream as one person who came from nothing being able to make it rich. While yes, this does happen, I believe the American Dream is the culmination of generations worth of efforts to make a better life for the next generation. This belief of mine, is exemplified through my father.
My father is the culmination of the american dream. He worked hard with what he was given and was able to make it as an attorney. His father, Matthew Hladik III, joined the military like most did during his time, and used the GI Bill to get a college education. He was able to provide a stable life for his son, Stephen Matthew Hladik. They had what they needed. My dad then went to college. He was given a little support financially but my dad still had to take on debt. After college, my dad went on to law school where he would go on to finish 9th in his class of 160 students. Going into the work force, my father had no connections, knew no one. He had to earn everything job he got with hard work, with the odds stacked against in a profession that leans so heavily on connections. He started in the Attorney General of PA’s office working in government. After a few years there, newly married, he moved to the Philadelphia suburbs and opened his own private practice. The success of his private practice was enough to attract a bigger law firm who brought him on as a partner right away and he is still there today 15 years later. They have since moved the firm to a building they had built to suit their needs and are continually growing their office brand. I can say with confidence, by seeing how hard work, got him to the to— not hand outs or connections, that I believe the American Dream is not dead. From when the first Matthew came through Ellis Island, to me now, the American Dream has come full circle.