70 People Become US Citizens

By: Litsa Pappas Email
By: Litsa Pappas Email

STAUNTON, Va -- A WHSV reporter met with one woman, Rose Ulia, who came to this country with nothing. She came with kids and no money for a baby-sitter, so it was tough for her to learn English. With the help of some good neighbors, she was able to become an American on Tuesday.

Dozens of people sang the national anthem for the first time as American citizens and Ulia was among them. She came to the U.S. from Sudan as a refugee 9-years ago.

"I'm so happy to get my citizenship,” said Ulia. “I don't believe I'm going to get it because it was hard to book all the reading and that kind of stuff. It's hard work to read when you don't know English."

That hard work paid off so she could stand at the Frontier Culture Museum to take the official oath as a U.S. citizen with many others.

Ulia said she could not have learned English and become a U.S. citizen without the help of Skyline Literacy. Elizabeth Girvan is the director there and she said it was rewarding to see people like Ulia become American citizens on Tuesday.

"It's so nice. You know, it's exciting for everybody to be here, but for us, we see these folks every day you know taking their journey, coming in and then when we know they're going for their test or interview, they even call us when they get in the car and let us know that they passed," said Girvan.

Ulia said all that hard work was worth it so she can now live in a country of freedom, which is something she never had before.

"Here you can practice your religion,” said Ulia. “You know, back home, it's hard to practice your religion, but here you can be Christian. Nobody can ask you, nobody can tell you to change for something. You can just be yourself."

Girvan said Skyline Literacy just recieved a grant so they can help even more people learn English and become citizens.

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