I was already motivated to become a U.S. citizen, and my academic dreams only encouraged me more. I began the citizenship process by getting in contact with International Institute of the Bay Area. Having a U.S. passport feels like having a key to the world.
Like many immigrants, my mother and I arrived in the U.S. seeking a more promising future than our homeland could offer. At the age of five, I accompanied my mother on a three-day journey by bus from our hometown in Mexico, to Ciudad Juarez, to El Paso Texas, finally reaching our destination in the Bay Area.
Life in the U.S. was difficult at first. My mother initially had to work multiple jobs, which kept us separated for long periods of time. I also suffered from culture shock. I had to learn a new language and had never seen so many people from different cultures living together in one country. Over time, we built a solid foundation in the U.S., and it began to feel like home.
I currently attend Santa Rosa Junior College and will be graduating this May with an Associate’s Degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences. I will attend Sonoma State University in the fall and will be pursuing a career in Forensic Science.
My interest for forensic science started at Napa High School. My senior year I was awarded three certificates of recognition in forensic science from the U.S. Congress, California State Assembly and California Senate. Most forensic scientist positions require that the applicant be a U.S. citizen. I was already motivated to become a U.S. citizen, and my academic dreams only encouraged me more. I began the citizenship process by getting in contact with International Institute of the Bay Area.
Working with IIBA was a wonderful experience. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but as soon as I started working with them—from the very first phone call to the oath ceremony—I felt very comfortable along the way. Both Representatives Alex and Madeline were very knowledgeable and answered all my questions. They were very attentive and guided me through the whole process.
There have been many benefits since I became a U.S. citizen. Most memorably, I was able to study abroad at the University of Rome. During my time abroad, I had the opportunity to experience many different countries. Having a U.S. passport feels like having a key to the world.
I believe that eligible green card holders in the U.S. should apply for citizenship. They have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of becoming a citizen, as well as embracing the responsibilities of this great nation. Becoming a citizen better allows permanent residents to be civically engaged in their communities, and lets them help shape the country they live in. Contributions from diverse cultures are what have made the U.S. the great motherland it is.