Axios Finish Line
May 11, 2022
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- Smart Brevity™ count: 377 words ... 1½ minutes.
1 big thing: American Dream is alive
Erica's dad, Rudra Pandey, was born in a village in Nepal to farmers.
- He came to Boston to earn his Ph.D. — and paid for it by working overnight shifts as a parking attendant at Commercial Wharf, a luxury condo complex.
💡 As school ended, he was looking for a job in his field. So he put a copy of his résumé on the hood of every car he parked.
- Someone finally took a look — and gave him a job at Fleet Bank, now Bank of America.
- Since then, he has scaled and sold two software companies — and given his two kids every opportunity under the sun.
Rudra credits his success to the American Dream.
- We often hear the American Dream is dead. But whatever you think of immigration, every year people come here from around the world — and find it's attainable.
Zoom out: People across borders and oceans still view the U.S. as the place to come to build a better life for their children.
- 70% of U.S. adults — across race, gender, political party and income — say the American Dream is achievable, Gallup polling found.
Three American Dream stats to chew on:
- Founder frenzy: 44% of Fortune 500 companies have at least one founder who is an immigrant or the child of immigrants, according to stats from New American Economy, founded by Michael Bloomberg.
- Upward mobility: Even the children of immigrants who fall in the poorest quarter of the U.S. end up in the middle class, Princeton researchers found.
- Self-made wealth: 80% of America's millionaires — foreign- and U.S.-born — are first-generation.
The bottom line: The U.S. remains the leading destination for immigrants with big dreams. 20% of all the world’s immigrants are in the U.S., according to Pew Research Center.
🧠 Founder facts
3 notable founders who emigrated to the U.S.:
- David Neeleman, a Brazilian immigrant, started JetBlue.
- Noubar Afeyan, a Lebanese immigrant, is a co-founder of Moderna, which developed one of the coronavirus vaccines.
- John W. Nordstrom, who started the department store with his name, emigrated from Sweden to Seattle in the late 1800s.
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