citizenship

Citizenship

From confusion to clarity and contribution. Families are excited to journey through our citizenship programs, learning to navigate the systems of their new country toward becoming its latest contributors. Parents are not just participating, they are actively engaging and eagerly providing feedback for what makes these programs most helpful. Together, we are building skills and opening doors for the pursuit of brand new dreams.

FAMILY STRENGTHENING

Parents tell us they want to learn English, gain citizenship, and understand their rights and responsibilities to advance the integration of their families. For many Hmong families, the ability to navigate social systems is elusive and challenging. Workshops, introductions and support groups help to smooth the way by removing barriers to resources on the path to success.

“I felt lost before. But with all that I have learned I am happy to know that I have things to contribute to my new country as a citizen.”

Citizenship creates opportunities for social and economic improvements that set the stage for safe, stable, and nurturing environments for children. Inside the home, it connects generations with shared skills and understanding as well as a common goal. Outside the home, it is the first step toward full civic engagement – participation and advocacy. Not to mention an ongoing connection with mentors and resources across the community in relationships of mutual benefit forged throughout the process.

LANGUAGE / LITERACY

Limited education and lack of English language skills are understandable barriers to passing the required naturalization test. New ESL (English as a second language) classes offer parents with limited education a chance to learn everyday communications in their new country. And civics-focused English instruction tackles two challenges at once. Each part of our programs is geared to strengthen parents in their quest to becoming advocates for their children as well as for themselves.

Staff also take an active role in community education, increasing the capacity of other service organizations to meet the needs of Hmong families in more culturally competent ways.

NATURALIZATION PREPARATION

Over the years, we have developed unique tools to help our hardworking participants. And we are always refining to the best approach for bridging language and culture. Translating the naturalization test into the Hmong language, we build understanding of constitutional concepts. Recording test questions in English and in Hmong, we offer home study and reinforcement. And our mock interviews give applicants a better sense of what to expect – removing intimidation of the unknown and offering a chance to practice new skills.

NEW VOICES AND PLACES

We have successfully sponsored hundreds of new citizens in a process of community support that includes networking and mentoring. It is in the advancement of our families from direct services to their own advocacy that we truly realize our purpose. It’s not just about passing a test, but about building capacity to exercise new skills and voices through a lifetime of participation. In such continual discovery, each is finding a new voice and place in America.

FAMILY RESOURCES

Preview of Citizenship Courses

From ESL to interview and oath, contact us to learn more about our courses.

MANY THANKS

First Five Fresno County

For funding toward family strengthening.

The Foundation Club of Rotary Club North Fresno