The Valpo Core Reader


Mike Lanzerotti

Document Type

Citizenship and Service Essay

Publication Date



Many indispensable qualities are required from an individual in order to be a citizen of a community. In the book Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder, Dr. Paul Farmer asks, "What does it mean to be an American?" This is a very good question that will help us understand what the duties are of a citizen in the U.S. In order to become an American citizen, one must be born on U.S. soil. However, there is an alternate route to citizenship called immigration. Among these immigrants, State Senator George Washington Plunkitt shares many of the same indispensable qualities of Dr. Paul Farmer. While Farmer's ideas are idealistic and impractical, Plunkitt comes up with a functional and realistic method of service to one's community.