#teens4citizenship January 2016
Published on Feb 2, 2016
A partnership between Hartford Public Library and Hartford Public –HPL and HPS offer a variety of opportunities for immigrant teens to learn more about their pathway to citizenship, including independent studies, capstone seminars, field trips, outreach, and volunteering with adult immigrant communities in Hartford. Below are some reflections of three immigrant teens who participated in several of these activities during the summer and the current school year. All three students attend HPHS Law and Government Academy.
Hi, my name is KJ. I am from Jamaica. I came to the U.S. in 2012. I am a legal permanent resident. Participating in events at the American Place at the Hartford Public Library let me realize how important it is to go for my U.S. citizenship. There are more opportunities once you become a citizen, such as eligibility to vote, run for elected office, apply for federal employment, you cannot get deported, and you can sponsor a family member to come to the U.S. The good thing is you do not have to stress yourself about it. That’s why the Hartford Public Library has the American Place to help you whenever you need help. They have citizenship classes and English Language Learners classes to help you every step of the way. It’s amazing to see different people from different parts of the world coming together doing their best to become citizens.
TA (from Jamaica)—At first, hearing the word immigration, I was very curious to know what exactly I would be doing. Now, reflecting on what I did in the summer, I can say it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I had the privilege to tutor during American citizenship classes and English Language Learners classes at three of Hartford’s public libraries. My sole purpose was to help those immigrants interested in taking the naturalization test to become a U.S citizen learn how to speak, read, write, and understand English. I also helped those who could already speak English by teaching them about American civics and making sure they were ready for their naturalization test.
This experience opened my eyes to what immigration is really all about. I have gained so much knowledge on this topic that I never knew before and also have gained a sudden interest in immigration. What I enjoyed most was helping out during passports days, observing a swearing in ceremony, and watching immigrants officially become U.S citizens. I am considering pursuing a career in homeland security. More specifically, I would like to be the officer who hands the newly American citizens their naturalization certificate!
JB—I was born on an island called St. Lucia, but I grew up in the United States. I go to visit from time to time. I moved to the United States in 2004 with my mom, she wanted me to come along with her. My mom moved for more opportunities and to see what living in U.S. is like. I like living here and visiting all the different parts of the United States and seeing what it is like. Yes, I would like to become an American citizen because I would like to vote someday, get a U.S. passport, and bring some family members to the United States.
For more information about these opportunities, please contact:
Judy Wyman Kelly, Teen Citizenship Project Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org or (301) 503-8035
Homa Naficy, Hartford Public Library Chief Adult Learning Officer, email@example.com (860) 695-6334
This initiative is funded in part by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.