August 5, 2016 – Aurora, CO – The Community College of Aurora is hosting a Naturalization Ceremony on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. in the Student Centre Building located at 16000 E. CentreTech Parkway in Aurora for 32 candidates from 16 countries* who will take the Oath of Allegiance and become U.S. citizens.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams will be the guest speaker at the ceremony and Judge John Madden IV will administer the oath. Dr. Chris Ward, CCA’s vice president of Institutional Effectiveness and Jill Fricker, executive director of the Colorado African Organization, will also speak.
These citizenship candidates have attended a 10-week class to prepare them for the citizenship application and test, which also included English language instruction. The classes are funded by a grant from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in partnership with the Colorado African Organization and Lutheran Family Services-Rocky Mountains. CCA’s Community English as a Second Language (CESL) program has provided ESL classes to the local community since 2003. The College began offering the citizenship program in January 2008 through its Center for Workforce Development. Classes are offered four times per year and participants pay a nominal fee to attend.
“This is such a proud moment for all of us at the college,” said Stephanie Lawton, director of the Community ESL Program at CCA. “The students in our citizenship classes have worked very hard and some of them have overcome a great deal of adversity in their journeys to this point. To see their passion and commitment to becoming a U.S. citizen is very inspiring and it is extremely gratifying to see them realize that dream.”
Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is conferred upon foreign citizens or nationals after they fulfill the requirements established by Congress. Naturalized citizens enjoy nearly all the same benefits, rights and responsibilities that the Constitution gives to native-born U.S. citizens, including the right to vote. During fiscal year 2015, 729,995 immigrants were naturalized.
*The countries include Burma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Indonesia, Liberia, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam. The students live in Aurora and Denver.
For more information about this event and for interviews, please contact Mary Jackson Meeks at 303-913-5282.