In 1906, my maternal great-grandfather emigrated from what was then known as British India to the United States. He, like many others,
came to America because of the opportunity for work in rebuilding San Francisco after the great earthquake of 1906.
When he returned home he entranced his family and many others with stories about the generosity of the people and the tremendous opportunities available in America.
Even after the partition of India in 1947, which led to the formation of the sovereign states of Pakistan and the Republic of India,
when family members were forced into refugee camps, my grandfather’s stories about the greatness of and opportunities in America kept their hopes and dreams alive.
Likewise, the dream of my grandparents and that of their children was to go to America and build a new life.
For them and countless others, America symbolized hope, opportunity and the ability to achieve anything with hard work.
Ever since she was a little girl, my mother planned to come to America. She knew one day she would get here as America was the best and only
place to raise her children and give them the chance to live their dreams. My mother was so proud on that day of August 14, 1981 when she arrived
in America to experience firsthand everything she heard in her grandfather’s stories. From that very first day my mother taught my siblings and me the
importance of taking advantage of what is here, setting goals and focusing on them with laser-like precision, being optimistic and honoring those that came before us.
Living out the American Opportunity consists of setting a goal and working as hard as you can and focusing your energy on achieving it.
In my opinion, you are never too young to set goals. Some people may say a fourteen or fifteen year old is too immature to set goals, but I
would argue for setting goals as early as possible. You are never too young to realize what inspires you as it is this inspiration that helps define your goals.
I knew I wanted to be a businessman when I was very young and opened my first business, a flower shop in East Haven, when I was seventeen and still in high school.
In a few years I owned and operated 4 flower shops with the help of my family,
launched a computer business and started Edible Arrangements, the creator of and leader in fresh fruit bouquets.
Edible Arrangements brings happiness to all of life’s occasions with an array of irresistibly fresh products, including handcrafted fruit arrangements
and gourmet chocolate dipped fruit. Edible believes in invention, investment and imagination, and echoes my entrepreneurial history and spirit!
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