The Story of Jim Fitzpatrick

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American Dream Series, News

The Story of Jim Fitzpatrick

By Daniel Trock

Our interviewee for this issue is Jim Fitzpatrick, originally from Tipperary, Ireland.

What was it like where you grew up?

It was very green and picturesque, with a lot of rain. We didn’t get great summers. But it was a very nice, friendly country to grow up in. Kids played outdoors safely and could disappear for a whole day without anyone being concerned that they weren’t coming home.

When and why did you decide to immigrate?

After I graduated high school, there were very few opportunities to move on to something like college or a good-paying job. I did have one job before I left, but it was one with no future. I knew if I was given an opportunity, I could be successful. I happened to have some friends who were U.S. citizens that were going back to the U.S., and I saw an opportunity to come with them and see how things panned out. It’s been about 31 years since then.

How has America treated you?

It’s treated me very well! I was able to go to college and start a family here. [For] every opportunity that I wanted to chase down, I was able to do so, along with people who helped me along the way. I was even able to get funding for the nutritional supplement company I own here in Danbury.

Would you like to give a message to the readers?

I came here with very little, but I saw there was tremendous opportunity if I could put my head down and spend the hours working. There were no obstacles placed in my way; if my desire was there, then any goal could be achieved. That’s not common in a lot of countries, certainly in Ireland and a lot of Europe. If you’re not a college graduate, your options are very limited. I found that in the U.S., even as a high school graduate, there was still a path for me to go to college, get a degree, and do something. I’m very grateful I’ve had the opportunities in the U.S. that I wouldn’t have had in Ireland.

 

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December 22, 2017

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