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"Because L.A. is such a melting pot, I think being an American means embracing your roots and combining that with traditional ‘American’ culture."
—Suzanne Berkovitz, 17, Beverly Hills HS

"For me American means a group from different cultures. It doesn’t have to be somebody born in America."
—Evelyn Rodriguez, 17, Fremont HS

"Having the right to have any opinion and everyday freedoms of our country."
—Michael Curtis, 16, Duarte HS

"I’m as American as it gets. I was born here. My grandparents were born here. My parents were born here. For me being an American is embracing everything around you. You need to be in touch with yourself as an American. All the different cultures, that’s what made America."
—Jessica Bernstein, 16, Beverly Hills HS

"I don’t feel comfortable calling myself an American because there’s South America and Central America. I don’t think it’s fair to call myself American just because I’m from North America. I’m me."
—Elise Hussein, 16, Duarte HS

"Being an American is representing your culture and learning life lessons from the cultures that surround you."
—Eddie Kim, 16, Palisades HS

"When you say you’re an American you feel like you’re part of a group. Since I’m many different ethnicities myself, I do that."
—Glenn Vidrio, 16, Fremont HS