At the Juan Diego Center, I got to reunite with a woman I have been working with over the past few weeks. She ran up to me, gave me a hug, and said, “¡Mi hija! I’ve missed you!” She then proceeded to joke with me about the “europeos” (one of the many words I can’t pronounce in Spanish) and ask how classes were. I was so happy to see her that I didn’t even take the time to wonder how we became friends through our one hour of studying a week.
As we studied for the citizenship test, several questions came up about voting age and rights. This November was the first presidential election I was able to vote in, and we talked about how excited I was to vote. I looked at this woman who has been studying so hard to become a citizen so she, too, can have the right to vote. I realized what a privilege it is for me to be able to support a candidate and use my ballot to say I agree or disagree with the policies and views of the people running for office. I know in this election, the rights of the people I have worked with at the Juan Diego Center who cannot yet vote will be reflected in my choices.
I have been so privileged to get to work at the Juan Diego Center and meet some truly incredible people. Everyone has been so patient with my struggles with Spanish as we work together to learn about what it means to be a citizen of the U.S. I have felt a renewed sense of what it means to be a citizen of the United States, and it has helped me become more aware that I need to take advantage of the rights that come along with living here.
CCSJ Student Coordinator
Class of 2014
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