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Hundreds become American citizens during Naturalization Ceremony

On Friday, it wasn’t students filling Transylvania University’s Haggin Auditorium but rather a melting pot of people representing 69 countries.

The 221 applicants in attendance all came together to officially become American citizens.

“It means so much for me; it means so much for my family,” said Ahlam Kohi.

In 2006, Ahlam Kohi moved to America with her sister and mother, hoping to escape problems and poverty that plagued her former home.

“Life was so hard in Somalia. There’s no schools, no jobs, people are struggling so bad over there and that’s what brought us here.”

But for her, the traveled path wasn't always easy.

“I had a little culture shock when I came here because I didn't speak English and I started high school right away and that was really difficult for me.”

But the 24-year-old managed to turn adversity into accomplishment. She graduated from high school and college and on Friday, she achieved yet another milestone when she completed the final step to becoming an American citizen.

“I never thought I would be an American citizen someday but I am now.”

She says her story goes to prove that no matter where you're from, the American dream is always possible.


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