OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Nearly 100 people in Oklahoma City have more reason to celebrate than most this weekend – as they are now U.S. citizens.
Waving the red, white and blue, 96 people began their new life as Americans at a naturalization ceremony hosted by Oklahoma City Community College on Friday.
Family and friends were there to celebrate the end of what has been a long journey for many.
“At the age of seven, I learned the English language and I became my family’s translator, cultural broker,” said Doris Baccala, a new U.S. citizen. “I was filing taxes for my parents at 12 years old.”
Baccala and her family fled El Salvador when she was just 5 years old – nearly the same age her daughter is today.
“For me, it’s looking at all the opportunities that my sacrifices have given her,” Baccala said. “That makes it so worthwhile.”
Baccala knows about making the most of opportunity – it’s something she’s done since becoming a DACA recipient.
“I was the first in my family to not only graduate high school, get a bachelor’s degree, get a master’s degree and hopefully soon, a doctorate degree,” she told News 4.
She’s one of many with big dreams and a fresh start in the land of opportunity.
“I’m so happy for everyone who became citzens today,” said Jalal Farzaneh, Vice Chair of OCCC. “This is the only time that everyone walks out of the courthouse happy.”