Living the American Dream: The inspirational journey of a Cadet – Part 1

November 13, 2018 | More People

Kevin Fanti is a recent graduate of the Police Academy (PA) at Broward College. Kevin graduated at the top of class 318, receiving the medal of valor. We spoke to him as he exited the platform. Beaming with pride, his eyes appeared reflective as he shared his journey. 

Against all odds

Kevin was born in the United States and at age four, his family moved to back to their native country, Brazil. The economic condition of the country was a challenge. His mother worked multiple jobs to provide for Kevin and his younger brother and that wasn’t enough. As the family’s financial difficulties increased, Kevin was forced to start working at age 12.

“I basically raised my little brother. It was very difficult. We had almost no food and we lived in a very dangerous neighborhood,” he explained. “I had to work across the street from my house so I could watch him while I worked.”

Kevin Fanti with wife and daughterDespite having to work, Kevin was determined to complete high school and so he started taking night classes.

“It took me longer to finish since it was only from 7 to 9:30 p.m,” he said.

He was however a disciplined student and managed to graduate at 18.

Shortly after completing high school, Kevin became a father. A year later, he was married. Although his mother and brother had returned to the U.S., Kevin was working up to three jobs to support his wife and daughter.

Pursuing the American Dream

Kevin knew that he wanted his daughter to grow up in a safer place, with better opportunities.

“I talked to my wife, I told her I didn’t want our daughter to grow up the way I did. We knew that I would have to go to the U.S. first, leaving them behind for a while but it was the right thing to do,” he said. “I was leaving my heart there. It was also scary because I wasn’t there to protect them.”

The then 21-year-old, sold everything he had and left Brazil. He arrived in the U.S. barely able to speak English. His priority was to begin the process to bring his family as soon as possible.

In part two, we learn about the setbacks in Kevin’s journey and his determination to reach his goals.

If English is not your first language, Broward College offers classes to help you. Visit

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