Talia Weisberg
winners 2010

Upon entering high school, Talia Weisberg found her passion: to change the world by improving the status of women in modern-day society. Throughout high school, Talia wrote 175 articles about women’s issues, became a member of the National Organization for Women (NOW)’s Young Feminists and Allies chapter, raised consciousness about feminist issues among friends and acquaintances, and attending conferences and summits about women’s rights. She overcame many personal challenges and is now enrolled as a freshman at Harvard University focusing her studies in Women, Gender, and Sexuality with the goal of eventually going to law schooland working in equal rights advocacy or labor law and specializing in protecting women from employment discrimination and sexual harassment.

Talia states that “The American Dream means something different to everyone who lives in the United States. For my grandparents, it meant becoming citizens and being accepted as part of the American community after surviving Auschwitz. My parents defined it as the ability to stay afloat at the end of the month. To me, the American Dream means that it’s possible for a person to succeed in whatever she sets her mind to, regardless of her background.

I embody the American Dream because I symbolize upward mobility. My grandparents came to this country with nothing but dreams and hopes for a better future than the present that they left behind. My parents subsisted, doing their best to live happy lives despite their disabilities and financial difficulties. I refused to let my background get the best of me, set a goal for myself, and reached it. I show that it’s possible to be born into a situation of adversity and still succeed, that a person can excel no matter what. I prove that it doesn’t matter what social or economic class a person is born in; if he works hard enough, he can still rise to the top and make it into a top-tier university. I am the American Dream.”