Naturalization Ceremony


Pictured from left to right: Valentine Paduraru, Ricardo Alexandre Dias Barros, Claudia Laignier Lage Valentim, Pavel Lowky, Judge Frank Forchione

GlenOak High School welcomed 10 new citizens during the Naturalization Ceremony on Oct. 11, at 10 a.m. The Naturalization Ceremony is a ceremony granting immigrants their legal citizenship into the United States. 

The ceremony was put together by teacher and coordinator Ryan Foltz. Foltz and Judge Frank Forchione started this program at GlenOak in 2016. 

“This ceremony is my favorite day of the year.  There are so many people involved and it touches everyone in a special way that are present to witness these immigrants become Naturalized Citizens,” Foltz said. “To think about the families and friends they left behind in their home country and to hear the stories they tell to get to the United States is nothing short of amazing. It’s a powerful day to see these immigrants finally reach their goal.” 

For Tung Thanh Nguyen from Vietnam, this day meant more to him than just becoming a citizen. He told a story of his dad being part of the war and helping the United States fight against the Communist Party. He talked about how his dad wanted him to come to the United States. Nguyen said he was fulfilling his dad’s dream. 

Ricardo Alexandre Dias Barros and Claudia Laignier Lage Valentim from Brazil came together as a couple for Valentim’s business work. As for everyone else, they came to fulfill their dreams here in America and start a new life for their families. 

The International Baccalaureate program, the Drifters, and students from Entertainment Technology also assisted with the program. 

Judge Forchione had talked about how hard it is to become a citizen and how he even struggled with the test that all of the new citizens had to take. 

IB Student Sydney Maddox said, “I liked hearing their stories about what inspired them to come to America and become a citizen and what they went through in their other countries.” 

Congratulations to Valentine Paduraru from Romania, Lyubov Isner from Kazakhstan, Ricardo Alexandre Dias Barros and Claudia Laignier Lage Valentim from Brazil, Pavel Lowky from Ukraine, Tung Thanh Nguyen and Oai Tu Tran from Vietnam, Rachel Pascual Espiritu and Sahara Pajaron Smith from the Philippines and Yara Khouri from Syria on their citizenship.