From Fearless Immigrant to Proud Citizen: Olga’s Journey to Success in the United States

Olga was born in El Salvador and began her journey to the United States at the age of 18. Her motivation to leave her country of birth was driven by her desire for independence and a better life. Being fearless, she entered the United States without inspection and successfully completed her trek without any issues. She arrived in Sonoma County and lived with an aunt who gave her the opportunity to babysit and attend school at the College of Marin, where she studied English as a second language. She knew she had to let go of her insecurities with English and persevered by successfully completing her courses.

After two years of living with her aunt, she began a new chapter in her life with a young man who eventually became the father of her two children. Over the years, she became a single mother but still found time to continue her education. At the age of 34, while working at a school center, she earned her Early Childhood Education teaching credential. She eventually changed course and became a nanny for a couple who worked as attorneys. Her children were now 4 and 19 years old, and the couple financed her opportunity to take law classes for six months at Dominican College. During this time, Olga’s son graduated from college as a mechanical engineer.

From the moment Olga arrived in the United States, her dream was to become a United States citizen. She had the discipline to study online for her citizenship test, and although she was very nervous on the day of her interview, she successfully answered all the questions correctly and was granted citizenship. Olga is now 52 years old and is elated that she has come this far since she first arrived in the United States 34 years ago. She has accomplished so much and now feels a weight lifted from her because she knows that her new status will allow her to reap many more benefits. She can vote, travel without restrictions, and apply for jobs that require United States citizenship. Olga has already taken two trips, one to Mexico and one to Hawaii.

When Olga first wanted to apply for citizenship, she was apprehensive because she heard so many horror stories from friends about the cost of hiring an immigration attorney and the disappointment they experienced from paying attorneys and not receiving the benefit. A friend told her to come to California Human Development because they are an agency that helps low-income applicants. Olga is grateful to CHD for preparing her citizenship application at no cost and allowing her to fulfill her dream of becoming a citizen. She shares her positive experience with all her friends and encourages them to take the risk and come to CHD for a citizenship consultation.

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