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Immigrant's dream is being American

Sometimes it takes an immigrant to remind us how fortunate we are to be Americans.

For Ethel Hoistad, that immigrant is Patricia Adelekun.

Adelekun came to the United States in 1996 from Nigeria and became a citizen in 2003. The women met at Community Bible Study in Gastonia, where Hoistad expected to learn about the Bible.

She did.

She also came away with a deeper appreciation for living here and the freedoms we celebrate on this July Fourth after hearing Adelekun talk about why her family came to America.

“She told us about the struggle they had to become what they are today, and how lucky we are to be what we are today, to have always lived in a safe environment and in a place where we didn't need to worry about somebody attacking us within the hour,” Hoistad said. “I would drive home and think: ‘I have been so lucky.'”

Adelekun, who speaks English in a West African cadence, said she feels lucky to be an American. “It was,” she said, “my dream from the beginning.”

‘You can achieve anything'

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