Stories and Comments

From New Citizens

Gustavo from Jalisco, Mexico

Gustavo has 3 children and works as a truck driver. He admits that maybe he could have taken this step earlier, but he says that learning English was a significant barrier. “Now, because of my age, they let me take the test in Spanish and all the questions they asked were answered correctly” he said proudly.

When he finished answering the questions the immigration officer told him he had already passed the exam and congratulated him. He was so excited, he told the first person he found in the parking lot. “Hey, I just passed the Citizenship test”, he said laughing.

He thanked ‘Bonding Against Adversity’ for helping him through the whole process: “I thank Bonding for those good classes, without their help I wouldn’t have achieved it,” he said.

Teresa from San Lucas, Michoacán, Mexico

Teresa has been living in the United States for 23 years. She has four sons and has been a permanent resident for 19 years. She works in a fast food restaurant.

She admits that she was a little nervous, but at the same time confident that she had spent enough time studying at Bonding Against Adversity. She says that watching the news, she realized that these are hard times for immigrants in this country, so she decided it was time to become a U.S. Citizen.

From Volunteers

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Amalia from Tamaulipas, Mexico

Amalia has been volunteering with Bonding Against Adversity  for 3 years. She started Citizenship classes in January 2015 and in May of that year took the test and passed it. She is now a U.S. Citizen and also a proud volunteer with BAA. Every Saturday morning, she goes to St. Leo the Great Church, to support different activities, but especially to assist the people who come to the Citizenship classes. Sometimes she serves people water or coffee, and on other occasions, she works as a teacher giving citizenship lessons. Anyone would say that because of her age, she could stay at home and rest, but she feels better serving as a volunteer.

“I like to help people who come looking for support. I remember that they also helped me to become a citizen. It’s nice to see that we help each other.

And later he added: “I see that Bonding works a lot to help people in our community, so I like to volunteer with them, because they do  heart-work”.

Primitivo from Guanajuato, Mexico

Primitivo began volunteering 2 years ago. He got to know Bonding because someone told him about the Citizenship classes at St. Charles Borromeo Church. He took classes for almost a year and a half and on October 2nd he took the exam and passed it.  He received the letter for the oath ceremony on November 14.

Primitivo is grateful for the help he received from Bonding, he says for that reason he became a volunteer. “I’m motivated to see what they do. I was not charged anything for the classes nor for help with filling out my N-400 application to become a citizen. That’s why I wanted to volunteer to help other people in a similar way,” he said.

He says he feels great satisfaction and joy in being able to help others. “I come every Saturday, and help set tables, set chairs, and collaborate on different activities. And when it’s all over, I do some cleaning”.

Ciro from Venezuela

He emigrated to the United States 18 years ago to study for a PhD. He met his wife here.

At church he learned about Bonding’s work and asked for help to become a citizen. “When you go to fill out the N-400 form, it’s a process where you feel a certain fear, because it’s a long form, where mistakes can be made, and the consequences of those mistakes can lead to having to wait longer.

I think it was very good that a reliable organization like Bonding helped me with the process, because with them I felt confident that everything would go well, and everything turned out as I expected. Ciro took the Oath of Allegiance on November 14th, 2018.  “And I would like to mention another important fact, that doing it with a lawyer would have been much more expensive,” he said.

From Teachers

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Verónica from San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

Veronica has been teaching civics, history and instructing students how to complete the 100 questions of the Citizenship exam for 3 years. She took Citizenship classes with ‘Bonding’ and became a Citizen in 2015. Because of her  positive experiences, she wanted to be an active part of the organization.

“I feel super blessed to be able to help and be part of this great effort that Bonding has been making to support the community,” Veronica said.

Veronica teaches Citizenship classes at the Prince of Peace Church on Sunday mornings.

“I like to teach people, prepare them to take their Citizenship exam, and it’s something I do from my heart,” she said.  The students are very close to her and say that she has a lot of patience.  She teaches in a simple way that she helps people have confidence in themselves.  

“I would like to thank 'Bonding' for giving me this opportunity to help so many people and for trusting me,” she said.

Rosa, from San Miguel, El Salvador

Rosa arrived in the country in 1980, fleeing the Civil War in El Salvador, when she was 22 years old.

She married and had 8 children; all born in America.  She became a Permanent Resident in 1986.

It took a long time before she became a Citizen. But in November 2014 she became a Citizen after taking classes with Bonding.

She was involved with various activities until she became a teacher four years ago.

“I am happy to be able to help those less fortunate, because I also received help at the time. I teach students to read and write, because some only know the alphabet.  They learn quickly because many have taken the Citizenship exam and passed it” she said.

“When I find out that one of my students passed the exam, it gives me great joy.”

Rosa teaches at the Prince of Peace church on Sunday mornings.

“Every day I thank God because He has given me the strength to help others and I want to do it as long as He allows me to.”

She said she is grateful to Bonding for helping her become a Citizen but also for allowing her to serve the neediest people in the community.

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