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'This is where we want to be': Millard educator, husband celebrates new citizenship with students

Posted at 10:30 PM, Mar 23, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — After more than 20 years as permanent residents, Barbara and Alan Douglas are officially citizens of the United States: a milestone they shared with the students of Harvey Oaks Elementary School on Wednesday afternoon.

"Home is where your heart is, and this is where our kids are. This is where our grandchildren are," said Alan. "This is where our family is going to establish itself. So this is where we want to be.”

Though their native country of Canada isn’t too far away, it was a long path to citizenship.

"This is a journey where, unless you have actually done this, you have no idea," Barbara said. "The massive amounts of paperwork and then waiting.”

For 15 years of her time in the US, Barbara has worked with students at Millard Public Schools and said just like her family, she can’t imagine celebrating becoming citizens without them.

"I love these children," Barbara said. "These children are more than just the kids I work with. And to have them witness this once-in-a-lifetime event and to be able to understand what citizenship — what they were born into naturally — they don’t get this.”

For the students in attendance, it's an opportunity to learn one perspective of what it means to be an American.

To learn more about the path to citizenship, you can visit the website for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration. Here you can find resources like the ones below.

Five ways to get ready for your naturalization interview and test:

  1. Visit USCIS’ Citizenship Multilingual Resources page where you can get many free study materials in  Arabic, Chinese, English, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.   
  2. Watch USCIS’ channel on YouTubeto see a mock interview and get more information about the test.  
  3. Download the free USCIS Civics Study Test app at Google Play or the App Store. Search “USCIS civics test” and make sure USCIS is the developer. You can practice the civics questions on your phone or mobile device. Learn more here
  4. Take a civics practice test onlineto help you test your knowledge of U.S. history and government. You have the option to review the questions in English only or in English with Spanish subtitles.  
  5. Attend a naturalization information session held by USCIS officials virtually or in person. Check here for upcoming sessions in your area.

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