The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia (LCNV) hosted a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Naturalization Ceremony at the James Lee Community Center on March 1, 2016.
A lot of hard work and preparation goes into becoming a citizen of the United States of America. On the 1st of March, LCNV hosted 81 candidates from 27 different countries who took the solemn Oath of Allegiance to become American citizens. The James Lee Community Center’s theatre was filled to capacity with friends, families, and LCNV students who came to witness this important day.
To become a U.S. citizen through the process called naturalization requires the applicant to fulfill a few requirements. One of the requirements is to be able to read, write, and speak simple English. This is where LCNV plays an important role. LCNV's beginning-level English learning programs teach a curriculum that helps adults improve their employment opportunities, acquire consumer skills, increase their involvement in their children’s education, and also help them become citizens. "Many of our students are working hard to become citizens of the United States. We are here to make their dreams come true," says Patti Donnelly, Executive Director, LCNV, at the USCIS naturalization ceremony.
Sarah Taylor, Washington District Director, UCIS, administered the Oath of Allegiance and the Pledge of Allegiance to the candidates and congratulated them for becoming U.S. citizens. The ceremony happened to fall on a privileged day known as Super Tuesday, a day when a large number of U.S. states hold their primary elections and caucuses, including Virginia.
President Obama welcomed new citizens through a video address with a touching and powerful message on the nature of American immigration.
The Naturalization Ceremony was a big success. This is the fourth time that LCNV hosted the naturalization ceremony and looks forward to hosting it again.