On Saturday, July 6 Beth Reibel, Director of Immigration Services, Vezna Bozic from US Citizenship and Immigration Services,  Evelyn Portillo, Department of Justice Partial Accredited Representative, from Catholic Charities, staff, and volunteers, welcomed 68 new students who registered for Hope CommUnity Center’s Citizenship classes and Saturday’s orientation.  A highlight of the morning was an inspiring talk by Victor Torres, Florida State Senator, who proudly introduced Hope’s 13 new US citizens to the potential new citizens. He thanked the group for taking the first step on the pathway to citizenship and commented, “The path will not be easy, but it will be worth it for your future.” One of the new citizens asked if he could say a few words and commented, “I am so proud to be a citizen and to be a part of Hope. None of us could do this without Hope. Thank you to all.”

Mary Carroll, HCC Board member, attended and reflected, “I cannot think of a better way or place to be than here at Hope to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend. Being with this courageous group makes me proud to be an American and gives me hope in these times when freedom for all is in question.

About Hope CommUnity Center:
Hope CommUnity Center is a service learning community dedicated to the empowerment of Central Florida’s immigrant and working poor communities through Education, Advocacy and Spiritual Growth.