• My (Underground) American Dream

  • My True Story as an Undocumented Immigrant Who Became a Wall Street Executive
  • By: Julissa Arce
  • Narrated by: Julissa Arce
  • Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (291 ratings)

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My (Underground) American Dream

By: Julissa Arce
Narrated by: Julissa Arce
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Publisher's Summary

What does an undocumented immigrant look like? What kind of family must she come from? How could she get into this country? What is the true price she must pay to remain in the United States?

Julissa Arce knows firsthand that the most common, preconceived answers to those questions are sometimes far too simple - and often just plain wrong.

On the surface, Arce's story sounds like a how-to manual for achieving the American dream: growing up in an apartment on the outskirts of San Antonio, she worked tirelessly, achieved academic excellence, and landed a coveted job on Wall Street, complete with a six-figure salary. The level of professional and financial success that she achieved was the very definition of the American dream. But in this brave new memoir, Arce digs deep to reveal the physical, financial, and emotional costs of the stunning secret that she, like many other high-achieving, successful individuals in the United States, had been forced to keep not only from her bosses, but even from her closest friends.

From the time she was brought to this country by her hardworking parents as a child, Arce - the scholarship winner, the honors college graduate, the young woman who climbed the ladder to become a vice president at Goldman Sachs - had secretly lived as an undocumented immigrant. In this surprising, at times heart-wrenching, but always inspirational personal story of struggle, grief, and ultimate redemption, Arce takes listeners deep into the little-understood world of a generation of undocumented immigrants in the United States today - people who live next door, sit in your classrooms, work in the same office, and may very well be your boss. By opening up about the story of her successes, her heartbreaks, and her long-fought journey to emerge from the shadows and become an American citizen, Arce shows us the true cost of achieving the American dream - from the perspective of a woman who had to scale unseen and unimaginable walls to get there.

©2016 Julissa Arce (P)2016 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"There are so many moments in Julissa's journey that numbed my body and transported me fully into her harrowing experience. Her story broke my heart and then made it jump for joy." (America Ferrera, actor, producer)
"Arce takes us on a breathtaking climb to the highest pinnacles of Wall Street while holding fast to a deep secret. The path to her success at Goldman Sachs is certainly inspiring. But it is the telling of her story with humor, grace, and insight that is the real achievement." (Lisa Endlich, author of New York Times best-seller Goldman Sachs: The Culture of Success)
"A heart-rendering testament to the resiliency and determination of one woman who dared to dream. It crosses borders - literally and metaphorically." (Turney Duff, New York Times best-selling author of The Buy Side)

What listeners say about My (Underground) American Dream

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I usually binge watch tv, this is the first time I’ve binged-Listened a book <3

I cried, i smiled, i was sad, i was happy, i was inspired, i felt it all. I felt connected with your story, i think millions of us do. Thank you for sharing your story! We needed this. Even tho I’ve bought the book on audible, I’m buying the hard copy too!

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Couldn't stop listening! ♡

Couldn't stop listening! ♡ Inspirational story that speaks of the migrant fabric and their contribution to the U.S.

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Loved this book!!!

I really enjoyed listening to this book!! Great story and May God continue to bless you on your journey!!

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Very inspirational story and storyteller

A very touching perspective of an individual’s struggles and triumph. The storyteller is a hero to many.

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Great Story

This is a must read. I have a similar story so I was able to resonate easily.

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Inspiration, pain,loss & perseverance.

A beautiful story, may it open your eyes and hopefully your heart to the struggle.

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A great book

I listened twice and cried all the way through. I had a very similar experience and truly understand what Julissa Arce had been through in her life. Julissa, Thank you for speaking up and sharing your story with the world. You have my full admiration and are truly inspirational. Let’s help those undocumented and hard working immigrants. Empower ourselves with education no matter how hard the life is.

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I was hooked!

This hits home and how many of my family members have struggle because of documents. Yet, taxes are paid and work hard to be in this country. Definitely gives hope that you can still be successful when going against the odds.

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Could not stop listening, super engaging and real

Great book, I first read her new book You Sound like a White Girl: The case of rejecting assimilation and loved so I had to go back a read her first two books. It’s relatable to so many and she makes you feel you are living the experiences with her. Looking forward to reading your future work.

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An Inspiring and Bold Autobiography

I also couldn’t help but binge listen to this book in two days. I highly recommend it. It’s a bold autobiography of Julissa’s Mexican and American story. She shares the difficult challenges including the heartfelt emotions she encountered throughout her childhood and early adulthood as an immigrant. She shares how important her faith was in getting her through difficult situations. I found myself in tears during certain portions of the book. Julissa Arce is a passionate writer and advocate!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-11-20

Warm and heartfelt story

Loved this book very much! What an interesting and heartfelt story, which shines a light on a real issue of immigration. I would Recommend this book to everyone even for a simple fact - to open your mind and gain deeper understanding into people’s situations.

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  • Marc
  • 11-26-17

A Inspirational &amp; engrossing rollercoaster ride!!

One of the most definitive &amp; inspirational autobiographies I've had the pleasure to listen to. A great touch is that the Audio book is narrated by the author herself, which really does go the extra mile in adding that extra ooomph of reality &amp; authenticity. One can't help but be pulled into Julissa Arce's world, sympathise with her, feel her exaltations and heartbreaks, all this while being part of THE most storied and esteemed Investment bank on Wall Street. You will develop a new found respect &amp; perspective on immigrants who all, in their own ways, aspire to achieve their American Dream.