Citizenship Student: Shodi H.

“As a taxi driver, every day I pick up customers from different countries, who share their stories with me. This is very similar to my experience as a student in IIBA’s citizenship classes. I look at my classmates from Ukraine, Mexico, and China, and think, ‘Wow this is the United States,’” says Shodi.

Shodi recently became a U.S. citizen through the help of IIBA’s free citizenship preparation classes, a free service IIBA offers, funded by the generosity of supporters like you.

In his birth country of Uzbekistan, Shodi was a professional drummer. Shodi’s path towards citizenship began to take shape when he arrived in San Francisco. He found employment as a taxi driver, earning enough money to visit his fiancée abroad every year.

Shodi’s life had found a comfortable rhythm, and then he received some exciting news: Shodi and his fiancée were expecting their first child.

For the next nine months, Shodi witnessed the evolution of his fiancée’s pregnancy through Skype, the soon-to-be parents communicating as often as they could. He was overjoyed by the birth of his daughter, and this life-changing experience inspired Shodi to become a U.S. citizen.

Shodi’s busy schedule as a cab driver forced him to develop some creative study skills, “I would read up on U.S. history when waiting for customers at the airport, or listen to the citizenship exam questions on CD when traveling alone.”

Shodi’s hard work paid off. He is now officially a U.S. citizen. The first thing he plans to do? Petition for his fiancée and daughter, of course. “Family is first. Becoming a U.S. citizen has provided me the dream of moving one step closer to reuniting with my family in a place I proudly call home.”

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