“Who was the first President of the United States?”
“What Ocean is on the West Coast of the United States?”
“How many U.S. Senators are there?”
Most of the office could hear these questions echoing down the hall (in Spanish) as one of the compañeras helped a client prepare for his United States Citizenship exam that the client was taking the following day. Andres has lived in the United States as a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) for many years and was now eligible to apply for citizenship here. He has worked hard all his life, but his jobs in manual labor never required much reading or writing, so Andres is essentially illiterate. His lack of education and limited English skills made him extremely nervous to take the citizenship test, but the assistance and presence of his compañera gave him confidence and courage. Despite his nerves, Andres successfully passed the exam and interview, and his compañera was by his side assisting with translation and providing moral support.
After passing the citizenship exam, Andres called his compañera to ask if she would accompany him to take his oath as a citizen and receive his citizenship certificate. The compañera was honored and excited to do so, and the smile on Andres’s face after the ceremony made it more than well worth the trip! The staff at Taller de José walks with individuals through many struggles and difficult times, but there are also many joyful moments like this one; we are so grateful for the trust placed in us by the clients who invite us to share in these momentous occasions.
You can see Andres share about his experience of accompaniment at Taller de José in this brief video: