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.
Produced by Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister for Long Haul Productions in association with Latino USA.
Note: This program originally aired November 30, 2010.