HYATTSVILLE, MD  On Oct 21, Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller awarded CASA with a Governor Citation at the Citizenship Clinic held at the Multicultural Center (MCC) in Langley Park, Maryland.  

“This is a citation from the Governor, myself, & Secretary Susan C. Lee. Be it known because of your demonstration of high integrity and ability, marinating our great trust and respect, we are most pleased to award you the governor citation, in appreciation of your outstanding services to the citizens of this state,” said  Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller.

Secretary of Service and Civic Engagement Paul Monteiro, Jr., Sen. Malcolm Augustine, and Councilmember Laurie-Anne Sayles heard directly from CASA members who were newly naturalized citizens.

CASA Member Isidro Mereno shared at the ceremony, “I am thankful to the CASA team in Rockville for helping me get my citizenship. The CASA team understood very well what needed to be done. In particular I’d like to thank AmeriCorps member Javier who took it upon himself to help me.” He added, “They also helped me apply and get the fee waiver.”

CASA Member and newly naturalized citizen, Gabriela Hernandez, was joined by her children and father, who also recently became a citizen. Gabriela commented, “CASA was with me from the start to the end of the process. We are now motivating other members of our family and friends who are eligible to also apply for citizenship. Now we are able to vote; we can spread our voice; and we can always motivate and help each other.”

Sonia Cartagena, an AmeriCorps member stated, “From the moment people call us, we hear their stories and we want to help them reach their dream of becoming a U.S. Citizen. We provide information, help them with their application, and help them take the classes to know all the citizenship test questions.”

 “It is an honor to be here as the first Secretary of Service for the state of Maryland, what you are doing is creating opportunities for people to serve and find where you belong in life,” commented Secretary Paul Morteiro.

This was one of CASA’s largest citizenship clinics in Maryland this year with roughly 80 people with lawful permanent residency seeking naturalization, featuring more than 40 volunteers.

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With over 155,000 lifetime members across 46 US states, CASA is a national powerhouse organization building power and improving the quality of life in working-class: Black, Latino/a/e, Afro-descendent, Indigenous, and Immigrant communities. CASA creates change with its powerbuilding model blending human services, community organizing, and advocacy in order to serve the full spectrum of the needs, dreams, and aspirations of members. www.werecasa.org