Toni Holt Kramer

Valerie Marino

Native Floridian
Florida Atlantic University, B.A. Biology
University of Tennessee, DDS 1985
University of Tennessee, Periodontics 1987
Private Practice Periodontics 30 years

Let’s Make America Great Again! Let’s Make American Education Great Again! Education and critical thinking are the cornerstones of success. Our school system has become a means to dumb down our next generation. Let’s work with our school system to give our children and grandchildren the best education possible.

Who are the dreamers?

At the age of 13, a young man arrived in New York City with his mother. Mother left her daughter in a convent as she was studying to become a teacher. Mother was seeking refuge from a fascist leader.

The young man did not speak English, but enrolled in public school and learned to read, write and speak the English Language. He enjoyed reading science fiction and mystery novels such as Jules Verne’s, “20,000 Leagues under the Sea” and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes”. As a young teen he was able to gain employment as an apprentice at a famous jewelry company. He was an entrepreneur and supported himself and his mother as a lightweight boxer, an entertainer and a jeweler. His mother worked at home as a dressmaker. He worked his way through Pennsylvania College of Optometry and received his Doctor of Optometry degree. He was offered a position as an opera understudy.

The young man married and supported his wife, mother and five daughters. After the death of their sixteen-year-old daughter the family moved to Florida. The young man was blackballed from the Optometry profession because of his ethnicity. In order to support his family, he took work in a supermarket produce department. Eventually enough money was saved to enable him to open a custom jewelry shop in Downtown Miami. He was sought out by well-known entertainers such as Van Johnson and Jackie Gleason to make custom pieces of jewelry. He also had a patent on eyeglass frames which could accept interchangeable lenses.

He passed away, leaving his wife, three daughters and thirteen grandchildren. He passed away, leaving a legacy of the American Dream. I am the granddaughter of “the young man”; Rosolino Gulotta who came to the United States via Ellis Island in the 1920’s. I worked my way through undergraduate school and dental school, and I have been a practicing Periodontist for thirty years.

My husband and I were denied grants and for graduate school due to our ethnicity. We both paid for our undergraduate education by working part-time while attending local colleges. Grandpa Marino, an Italian immigrant who came into the United States via Ellis Island; secured our loans for graduate school by making a security deposit at a participating bank. My husband has been a practicing optometrist for thirty-two years.

It seems to me that real dreamers make the dream a reality without government assistance.

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