As we celebrate the opening of American Dreams earlier this month at Cleveland Public Theatre, we’re spending time learning about the American dreams of those in our community. Even a few that have come true.

This week we feature entrepreneur, real estate developer and philanthropist Radhika Reddy, Founder & Partner of Ariel Ventures, LLC, who has spent the past 30 years making significant contributions to Cleveland and the Greater Northeast Ohio community.   

“I came to the US from India with $20 in my pocket and a one-year scholarship to Case. After that year, I was supposed to go back to India. But I was fortunate to get a part time job, worked long hours, went to school full time and completed my MBA. My specialty was turning around troubled companies and helping them make multi-million dollar profits. My company did well. I’ve built it by working very hard, always learning and not being afraid to take risks.

I’m always looking for opportunities – for myself and for others. For a long time, my dream was to create this one-stop international center. My business partners and I bought a building by the lake and now it’s the Ariel International Center. We bring different ethnic groups together; we have events, meetings and build intercultural understanding. I’m now on my fifth building. We want to leave a legacy behind for Cleveland. We want to give back to the community that we’ve adopted.

The American Dream, for me, is the fact that you can come to this country with $20 and work hard, study and do a lot by yourself. You can truly make a difference. You can build something and make things happen that are transformative.” –Radhika Reddy, Founder, Ariel Ventures

Dig deep into the concept of the American dream and be a part of the live studio audience of American Dreams, where you will decide which of three contestants will receive the ultimate prize: citizenship in “the greatest nation on Earth.” Now playing through March 3 at Cleveland Public Theatre.