Updated: Jul 2
Immigrating from your native country, especially in adulthood is a big challenge for
anyone. If you decide to leave there must be a driving force behind that. I came to the US from Hungary 3 years ago after almost three decades of separation from my beloved son.
Something that helped my decision was the sudden, dramatic change to my living conditions in Hungary, and I recognized that this was the perfect time to reunite with my son.
As a newcomer with bad English and limited knowledge about my surroundings, I experienced anxiety and loneliness. Nevertheless, I had a strong feeling that I would like to be
a good citizen, a useful member of my community, and get American citizenship.
When I went to the Solana Beach library, I was informed that there was a program on Wednesday nights that helped prepare citizenship candidates for everything they would encounter during their naturalization interviews. Immediately, I felt that this was
what I needed to do and signed up for the North County Immigration & Citizenship
That was a game changer in my new life in the US. I was introduced to my tutor, whose name is Steve Carlton. He and his lovely wife Jan started to teach me US history and civics test questions. Both of them volunteer for NCICC. They are also correcting my English,
and in this way I can improve my English as well. In addition to that, Steve invited me to
the Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, which is the mother institution of NCICC. That
was another great opportunity for me to participate in my local community. In
both places I received a warm welcome. Step by step, I became an active member of the citizenship class and the church as well. Now I have friends from both places. For example, it was so funny to meet one of my neighbors, Anna, who was successfully naturalized since we met in the citizenship class. I have new friends from the church too.
Thanks to NCICC, I regained my self confidence and got a new family in the US. They
never abandon you. During the hardest days of the Covid-19 pandemic outbreaks I
got a call from director Sonya Williams who asked me about my situation and offered me
access to the food bank event. If you are an active member of NCICC you won't be
alone anymore. They help you with learning English, participating in the naturalization process and you can practice your spiritual life with great people who are the members of the church. Since I started the citizenship class in the Solana Beach library I got a job and now I am not just a newcomer but a welcomed member of a local community. I have lot of new plans and dreams in my mind. Hopefully I can accomplish them in the very near future. I am still one of the students in the citizenship class but much closer to being a good American citizen than I was 3 years ago.
-George (NCICC Client)