Mexican native achieves goal of U.S. citizenship
edited: Sunday, September 21, 2008
By Marie Wadsworth
Not "rated" by the Author.
Posted: Sunday, September 21, 2008
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Published in the Hobbs News Sun around Sept. 10 and published by Associated Press.
Antonia Trevino's goals of becoming a U.S. citizen and earning a GED has made her determined to come to New Mexico Junior College's adult basic education classes rain or shine.
After a year of attending citizenship classes for three hours every Monday and Wednesday, Trevino saw her goal of being an American become a reality whe sh passed her citizenship interview on Aug. 7.
"I' proud," Trevino said of her accomplishment. "My children are already U.S. citizens, and now I am too."
NMJC offers free citiznship and adult basic education classes to Lea County residents age 16 or older through its adult basic education program at the Dalmont building all yea long, said Dianne Marquez, director of adult basic education at NMJC. Each year the citizenship class averages sven students and the ault basic education program has about 600 studnts.
"I'm very proud of her," said Trevino's 13-year-old son, Anthony Corona. "She's accomplishd many things. She tries her best every day. I think she'll do well in life."
Trevino, a native of Ojnaga, Chihuahua, Mexico, who has lived in Lovington for 30 years, said she had the option of taking the citizen interview in Spanish but she chose to do it in English.
There are about 100 questions potential U.S. citizens can be asked during the intervie, Trevino said, and candidates have to give answers in both oral and written form.
"I prepare in English a long time," Trevino said. "I studied the questions i English. ... I was not nervous about my interview. The difference was the school. I appreciate the (citizenship) teacher and the college for giving the classes because they've helped me so much."
"It was brave of her ... to take her citizenship interview in English," Marquez said. "I think most people would have aken it in their native language. I know I would have."
It was important to her to learn English before becoming a U.S. citizen, Trevino said.
Her children helped her learn English by reading books to her aloud. She also learned English by watching the news on TV and in NMJC's English as a second languag classes for the last three years.
"I'm here in the United States, and I understand I need to learn English," Trevino said. "I invite other people to come to school to learn how to speak and read English."
But Trevino's education didn't end after passing her citizenship interview. She's presetly taking reading classes through NMJC's adult basic eduation pogram to prepare her to take the GED someday.
Having children who have graduated from college inspied her to continue on wth her education, Trevino said.
"They've gone to college. Now it's my turn," Trevino smiled.
Her son, Anthony, helps her with reaing and pronunication of some English words. She also has an electronic device she uses to help her know how English words are pronounce.
"My goal is to talk in English te same as Spansh without any mistakes," Trevino said. "I want to help my son (Anthony) learn. I need to get a beter job so I can send him to college."
"She inspires me every day to keep going in school," Corona said, adding his mom gets excited about going to school nd doing homework.
She hasn't decided what her plans might be after earning a GED someday, Trevino sai, but she'd like to get a job helping people.
"I see her as a success story," Marquez said. "She started out with no English skills and has made tremendous progress. With everything she's accomplished, she's an inspiration to other students."