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American Dreamer: Sam's Story

From: Long Haul Productions
Length: 59:00

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Every year, an estimated 65,000 undocumented students graduate from American high schools. Raised entirely in American culture, they finish high school only to find themselves in a peculiarly American limbo. "American Dreamer: Sam's Story" is a first-person longitudinal radio documentary sharing the experience of one of these kids.

Sam_small   “American Dreamer: Sam’s Story” tells the story of a talented and articulate young jazz musician named Sam, who was brought to the U.S. at age 5 by his Mexican parents. He stayed out of trouble, was drum major of his high school’s marching band, fell in love with playing jazz on the tenor sax, and got his diploma with honors– only to find that for an “illegal,” graduation marks a dead end. .  Though Sam dreams of attending college to study jazz performance, he hides his status from even his closest friends, and can’t legally work, drive, get financial aid, or even gain admission to some colleges.  "American Dreamer" follows him from his high school graduation, through the following summer, as he struggles to raise money to continue his education and weighs the risks of working and driving illegally against his own desire to achieve his American dream.

Piece Description

  “American Dreamer: Sam’s Story” tells the story of a talented and articulate young jazz musician named Sam, who was brought to the U.S. at age 5 by his Mexican parents. He stayed out of trouble, was drum major of his high school’s marching band, fell in love with playing jazz on the tenor sax, and got his diploma with honors– only to find that for an “illegal,” graduation marks a dead end. .  Though Sam dreams of attending college to study jazz performance, he hides his status from even his closest friends, and can’t legally work, drive, get financial aid, or even gain admission to some colleges.  "American Dreamer" follows him from his high school graduation, through the following summer, as he struggles to raise money to continue his education and weighs the risks of working and driving illegally against his own desire to achieve his American dream.

2 Comments Atom Feed

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So Thorough

Amazing piece. So thorough and thoughtful. I'm wondering how long it took to put together? Seems like a real "long haul" piece to me!

Sara Lafleur-Vetter

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Sam's American Dream

Hi from a new PRX fan
Thoughtful program! Thanks!
It seems to me there should always be citizenshiproom in America for people - like Sam - who poigniantly contribute so much to life, enriching our experience.
Kudos for an excellent "first listen" to an engaging new-to-me discovery.
Where can I buy a Sam CD? I dig cool jazz and soulful sax!

Broadcast History

This is the debut of the hour-long special. The four-part series aired on Latino USA. Excerpts aired on ATC and Marketplace.

Timing and Cues

Piece Audio Version

00: 60 second billboard. oc: '....after the news.'
6:00: 5 minute news hole
7:00: part 1 (28 minutes) ic: 'I'm maria hinojosa.' oc: 'prx.org.'
34:00: 60 second floating promo with music
35:00: part 2 (24 minutes including credits) ic: 'we continue now...' oc: music fades

American Dreamer 54:00 no news hole Version

00: 60 second billboard. oc: 'prx-dot-org (music fades)'
6:00: part 1 (28 minutes) ic: 'I'm maria hinojosa.' oc: 'prx.org.'
29:00: 60 second floating promo with music
30:00: part 2 (24 minutes including credits) ic: 'we continue now...' oc: music fades

Intro and Outro

INTRO:

included

OUTRO:

music fades at 59:00
music fades at 54:00

Related Website

www.longhaulpro.org