I Am America: University of Texas student Ashley Willies
February 13th, 2012
11:36 AM ET

I Am America: University of Texas student Ashley Willies

Ashley Willies lives in Austin, Texas, and she's a proud black, Panamanian-American, "a product of two hardworking, loving parents."

What makes you American? Check out Ashley's story and submit your own "I Am America" story on iReport.

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Filed under: Who we are
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. madpatter

    Funny I havent heard or read the words VETERAN or NATIVE AMERICAN. To some of us who have given of ourselves for the sake of this country ( I was born here ) is a weak excuse for a freeloader who has given nothing of themself but feels the benefits of our country are a godgiven right rather than something each individual should earn.Any foreigner that comes into our country and works two low paying jobs to make it is a better AMERICAN than anyone that says I WAS BORN HERE.. America was built by hard work by a lot of people that werent BORN HERE. I myself am a veteran and I was BORN HERE. I served next to Cubans Asians and many other people that werent BORN HERE. But they were willing to give of theirselves even their lives to BE HERE!There is more to being an American than being BORN HERE.

    February 15, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • John Debba

      More than 90% of Americans are non-veterans and Native Americans, and none need to proof their worth to you or anyone else. I am also a veteran, wounded in combat and decorated. However unlike yourself, I do not believe this places me above any American citizen, even naturalized citizens.

      February 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Pianoman

    big deal over nothing. Nobody cares that Ashley is an American other than Ashley. We have over 300 million "Americans".
    CNN will print anything

    February 14, 2012 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
  3. Pat

    I'm American because I was born in this continent called America, otherwise I would be European, Asian, African, etc. However, I do love the EEUU because of the hard work, sacrifice, and vision of its begining and the humanitarian acceptance of the differences among us.

    February 14, 2012 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. spent

    She is a good American alright. Drop me in America and I can make that claim. This is a polarized country and it will always be.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:30 am | Report abuse |
  5. larry5

    If she's a Panamanian-American does that mean she's a Panamanian first and only uses the American part for benefits?

    February 13, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      That's usualy how it works. Ignore the melting pot by distinguishing oneself instead of just calling yourself American. But by using Panamanian first she also gets the affirmative action benefits in addition to the benefits by adding American at the end.

      February 14, 2012 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  6. Fr33th1nk3r

    "What makes you American?"

    Stupid segment....my birth on American soil makes me a naturalized citizen....duh. What else?

    February 13, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Debba

      You mean, birth on American soil gives you birthright citizenship. Naturalization is the acquisition of citizenship and nationality by somebody who was not a citizen of that country at the time of birth. So if you learned something then "segment" is not stupid after all.

      February 15, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |