Citizenship student Moses Dominic fled violence in his native country, Burma, in 2006.  After spending 6 years in Malaysia, he was resettled in the United States in 2012 with assistance from World Relief in Durham. He lived for a short time in Kannapolis, NC before moving to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area, and today he works in food services with Aramark, on the UNC campus.

Moses started preparing for the naturalization test in January of this year and attended Orange Literacy’s classes on Monday and Wednesday mornings at the Karen Community Center in Carrboro.  He received assistance with his naturalization application from the Refugee Support Center, one of our community partners.

fy18-Moses Dominic and Marty Schweitzer

Moses (left) and Marty (right)

In addition to classes, Moses met with tutor Marty Schweitzer, a community member who volunteers with our program.  The pair met faithfully every Thursday morning at 8:30, and after Moses passed the naturalization test in November, they came together one last time for a debriefing. On this happy occasion, I was able to catch up with them both to discuss the naturalization process and their experiences working with each other.  On being asked the reason why he wanted to become a US citizen, Moses replied, “I love the United States, freedom, freedom of speech, and the fact that nobody is above the law.”  He also reported that he enjoyed improving his English and learning all aspects of US government and history that he needed to know for the test.

Marty worked with Moses throughout the naturalization process.  When I asked what drew him to volunteering with Orange Literacy, he said that as a son of immigrants himself, he wanted to help new people in the country feel welcome.  Reflecting on his experience with volunteering, Marty said, “I got to know Moses, someone I’d never met, from a culture I didn’t know.  I learned about his country…. and what he went through to get here. Citizenship was important to him, and it felt good to help.”

The final step to the naturalization process is to take the Oath of Allegiance at a special ceremony.  Moses Dominic became a new US citizen on December 22, 2017.

If you are interested in volunteering with our Citizenship program, helping students like Moses, please email Elgiva Wood: ewood@orangeliteracy.org