Published by StreetSmartLive.com

May 1, 2005

•Tom "Big Al" Schreiter  •Robert Butwin  •Rod Cook   •Jeffery Combs  •Jerry "DRhino" Clark •Greg Arnold  •Artemis Limpert  •Robert Blackman •Dr Zonnya •Ellie Drake - Contributing Editors

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My Journey To America
by Ellie Drake

I was born in Tehran, Iran. My parents always had Dreams of me doing something special with my life. I remember I was 14 years old, and one day when I got home from school I noticed that my Mom and Dad were sitting at the small kitchen table in a small basement apartment that we were renting in Tehran. I guess you could say that we were middle class and my parents worked hard yet accepted nothing but excellence for me. They asked me to sit at the table with them, and my Dad told me that they had decided to migrate to America. Those words were so sweet to my ears that I still remember how they sounded. After all America was the synonym for Paradise. It was a place you would dream about before you went to sleep. It was the land of liberty and opportunity.

With a help of a very good friend, my father traveled to Cypress to apply for a United States Visa. His first attempt failed, but he had made his decision and with more determination than before he tried again a few months later. Luckily this time has application was accepted. He left Iran shortly after that and went to Florida. He then hired an attorney and started the process of bringing my Mom, Brother, and I here. About 18 months had passed, and the process with immigration was going very slowly. He missed us, and we missed him but we had no choice other than to wait. One morning when my brother and I woke up, my Mom told us that we were going to Dubai to try our luck with getting a visa. When she told my Dad over the phone, he strongly opposed and said that it would be impossible for the three of us to get a visa, and that it might be in conflict with our already in process case. However my Mom had run out of patience, and she wanted to go to Dubai and that was the end of the story. So a couple of days later we left Tehran for Dubai, with one goal in mind and that was to go to the American embassy and apply for a Visa. The morning after arriving there, we headed for the American Embassy and got there at 4 a.m. to find out that there were a few hundred people there ahead of us. The Embassy opened at 7 a.m. and they started taking people to one of the four American Consulates that were there. In front of each of the consulate’s booths was standing a translator who would translate the consulate’s questions to Farsi for the applicants and then translate their answers back to English for the consulate.

During the following hours, we saw that the only people that were getting approved for a visa were the very few that were generally 65 years or older. Hundreds of other applicants had walked out of their interviews with a deep sadness on their face and their passports in their hands which meant that they had been denied.

Your Brave Heart
by Ellie Drake
Ellie will share with you information that will help you on your "WHY" of building your business, and you will also learn many valuable tips and techniques which will help you with your "HOW"

Ellie will make you laugh, cry, and get motivated when she shares the importance of living a passionate, fulfilling, and balanced life. She is a high-energy performer who always provides high-content and carefully customized presentations designed to meet each client’s specific needs.

Ellie doesn’t just speak, she lives what she speaks about. Because of her previous involvement in the industry of direct sales and as a result of being a top income earner, she’s able to share through experience what works, what doesn’t, and why.
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We waited there until after noon when our number was finally called. We started walking towards the consulate, and suddenly I was greatly inspired and told my Mom that we did not need a translator and that I had decided to speak to the consulate myself. My mom looked at me with a very worried look, yet she accepted my proposal. I guess the worry came from the fact that she knew I had previously only taken a few private English classes that mostly taught British grammar, and the acceptance came from the fact that she had paid for those classes and liked to believe that her money had gone to great use. We walked through the booth and towards the tall blonde American consulate who held the key to our future. I still get the residual butterflies when I think about that life changing moment. He was still studying our hand written application which I had filled out with the help of the dictionary, when I spoke in broken English with much more accent than I have now “you must be tired, you have been working from the Morning until Now.” He looked at us with an expression of acknowledgment and granted us a small yet comforting smile. He then asked me a few questions and my response to most of them was “Repeat Please?!”

Amongst my answers were the fact that I wanted to come to America because it was free……Actually what I meant was that I wanted to come to America because it was the Land of the Free…..

I also mentioned that I wanted to go to Disney world and wanted to visit NASA. After about 2 or 3 minutes, he looked at us and said “you can go now…I will keep your passports, come back at 5 o’clock and you will have the Visa!” It took us a few seconds to realize that we were awake, and not dreaming. It’s a strange feeling when you are awake yet you think that you are dreaming a Dream. A Dream for a better future….A Dream for a better life…..A Dream and a Chance to change your families future for generations to come…..

We walked out of the booth as if we were riding the concord with frequent flyer miles and of course without our passports in our hands, and immediately realized that a huge group of people were running after us wanting to know what our secret was. I have thought about that moment often. Maybe the consulate was just suddenly in a good mood, or maybe he felt the deep burning desire that was burning within us….. I know that I am forever grateful to the people who are the reason why I was able start my life in this country. I know that I am forever grateful to my Dad for his sacrifice, to my Mom for her courage, to our dear family friend from Florida for his support, and to the American consulate for his willingness to share his beautiful America with a girl from Tehran who at the moment she stepped onto this land promised herself that she will one day be a great asset to this Country.

We landed in Miami International Airport just a couple of months later. It was beautiful to see my Father after about 2 years. We drove north in a car that now that I think about it, he had probably purchased from a garage sale!

In spite of my expectations of him greeting me with a few bags of scrumptious chocolate, and maybe a dozen big Macs which had been talked about as great commodities amongst my high school friends, he pulled over to the side of the highway and turned towards the back seat of the car when he presented me with something totally unexpected. He stared me in my eyes and said :

“I want you to look back at the bridge that you have just crossed. I want you to burn that bridge, because in spite of all the challenges that you may go through, you have just entered a country where if you have a dream and are willing to take consistent persistent actions towards your dreams, you will achieve them in this land of opportunity.” He continued on to say “If you are willing to fly like an Eagle, America will be the wind beneath your wings.”

Years later, I left the United States for the first time and came back a few days later. I remember walking through the Airport Customs when I noticed the big banner ahead of me that said “ Welcome to the United States”. At that moment my heart truly skipped a beat…. I felt so blessed to be an American Citizen and to have the opportunity to live in a country where I have the opportunity to pursue my passions and the chance to actually achieve them. For that I am forever grateful………

Ellie Drake is the President and CEO of BraveHeart Productions. She is a Keynote Speaker, Coach, Doctor, and Successful Entrepreneur. She realized her love for speaking at a very young age. Speaking comes from the core of her soul, and she inspires the audiences as she talks about the "American Dream" and her journey to America. Ellie came to America 14 years ago, and loves to talk about this great land of Liberty and Free Enterprise.  Her web address is: http://www.braveheartproductions.com

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