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If you have a good idea and you work hard, you can achieve anything in America. There is no limit on how far you can go.
I'm 24 years old, and I know that the American Dream is alive and well.
I am Cuban-American. My grandparents fled communist Cuba after the Bay of Pigs Invasion to provide a better way of life for their children. They risked everything to come to America, the greatest country on Earth. Along with their five sons, they lived in a one-bedroom home in Newark, New Jersey.
They came to this country in search of individual empowerment, and this country provided that. One of their sons - my father - rolled up his sleeves and started a small business. I have always admired his work ethic, and that inspiration led me to start my own small business when I was 19. Over the past five years, my small business has helped more than 100 people in the construction industry get back to work.
My family's experience shaped my thoughts on public policy. They believe that every generation should have a better quality of life than the previous generation, and so do I. That belief led me to run for state Senate in the 33rd District this fall. I thought I could bring a new perspective to the real problems families are facing every day in Connecticut.
I was honored to be elected on Nov. 6, and I couldn't have done it without the support of Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters. I had tremendous support from young people - more than 60 high school students volunteered on my campaign. Support also came from many seniors in our region, and for that I am very thankful.
When the results were tallied, our tireless volunteers saw how dedication and hard work pays off. It was a great experience - one which I will always remember. I can't wait to go to high schools throughout my state Senate district to talk about issues that matter to young people.
At the State Capitol, I look forward to working with leaders from both sides of the political aisle to fight for policies that create jobs and ease the financial burdens we all face. We have got to make this state a better place for the generations who follow us. By working hard and in a bipartisan fashion, we can make considerable progress and improve the quality of life for everyone in Connecticut.
There is no limit to what we can achieve.
Art Linares is state senator-elect for the 33rd Senate District, which encompasses the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook.