Community Matters: Achieving the American Dream

LITTLE ROCK, AR - "We were incredibly poor."

Times were hard for Dominik Mjartan growing up in the final throes of communist Czechoslovakia.

"You're relatives that were Christians were thrown in prison or they disappeared," says Mjartan.

His father was an engineer his mother a film critic and writer, but because they refused to join the communist party.

"They made less money than the butcher they made less money than the brick layer," says Mjartan

Mjartan was determined to find a better future.

"When I thought about where do I have the best chance to improve my life America was at the top of the list," said Mjartan.

Mjartan got his chance through and student exchange program at his high school. Years worth of his parents savings would go to a plane ticket to fly him over.

"I had visions of living in the big cities."

Where he ended up was anything but.

"I was sent to a little town of Camden in the Delta."

Mjartan says he'd barely heard of Arkansas much less Camden population at the time about 15,000.

"I was the only white kid on the school bus."

"People sort of adopted me."

Even as he prospered, Mjartan realized many in Camden had less opportunity than even he did growing up under communism.

"Really drives what I do today is those experiences," says Mjartan.

He went on to succeed in technology and banking. But to ensure people in his adopted home have the same chance,

Mjartan has returned to the Delta, dedicating his life to making sure the land of opportunity is available to all.

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