Wednesday, June 15, 2016

San Diego County :: VC Man Celebrates Becoming a US Citizen

VC man celebrates becoming a US citizen
Valley Roadrunner: 5.19.2016 by David Ross

It was an all-American celebration, complete with small American flags, a big cake, congratulations and lots of smiles. And a few tears.

In a few days, on May 25 Leonardo Zuniga will join hundreds of men and women in San Diego’s Golden Hall in repeating this oath

Zuniga, who recently changed his last name from Zuñiga in order to make it easier to pronounce— following a grand tradition established by countless millions who landed at Ellis Island in New York City over many decades— celebrated his pending U.S. citizenship Tuesday night at a reception hosted for him by the Valley Center Library.

The event celebrated his graduation from the San Diego County Library (SDCL) Citizenship Program, passing his United States Citizenship Interview, and being scheduled to take the oath on May 25.

With tears in his eyes Zuniga accepted the praise of his teacher, Citizenship Instructor, Graciela Schneider, a native of Argentina, who has lived in the United States for many years, and who teaches the weekly Citizenship classes every Tuesday night.

“He finished the program in six months, not knowing a word of English when he started,” she said. Zuniga was the first student to complete the program at VC Library.

She noted that during her classes she doesn’t let the student speak at all in Spanish, and with a twinkle in her eyes added, “If I slipped into Spanish Leonardo would say, ‘Say in English!’ ”

Mrs. Schneider was also recognized for her dedication to the program by VC branch manager Laura Zuckerman and Susan Moore, San Diego County Library Deputy Director, who was once a literacy tutor, and currently directs the library system’s “Learn program.”   READ MORE @

Library To Host Citizenship Workshops

San Diego County Library (SDCL) will present a free Citizenship Workshop every Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. through 2016 at the Imperial Library Branch, 847 Encina Avenue. Participants will learn about the eligibility requirements for becoming United States citizens, and receive legal assistance with the citizenship application process. All are welcome to attend, but a limited number of seats are available; call the Imperial Beach Library at 619-424-6981 to check for availability.

The workshop will supplement an ongoing series of weekly citizenship classes held at the El Cajon Library. Coordinated by SDCL’s L.E.A.R.N. adult literacy program, these classes help immigrants prepare for their naturalization exams by providing assistance with the 100 civics questions and English language skills.

Kevin Vigil, L.E.A.R.N. coordinator, says, “The purpose of the San Diego County Library’s Citizenship Class Program is to help prepare immigrants to pass their naturalization exam. L.E.A.R.N. completes our program and allows us to offer free legal assistance for the naturalization application process.”

The San Diego County Library is dedicating to serve all members of our community, and to ensuring that San Diego is a safe and welcoming environment for everyone. It is our goal to provide information to those in need so that they can be certain that they are well-informed about topics relevant to them.

For more information about the workshop or citizenship classes at the Imperial Beach Library, please call (619) 424-6981. For information about San Diego County Library, visit

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