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In bringing naturalization ceremonies to middle school and high school classrooms, Citizenship Counts inspires both U.S.-born and immigrant students to learn about the naturalization process and, more importantly, gain an appreciation of what it means to be American citizens. This appreciation embodies the ideals championed by Citizenship Counts founder Gerda Weissmann Klein, who has taken her remarkable life journey and made it a universal lesson in the humanity that unites us and the freedoms that our democracy protects. It is not the color of our skin, our religion, or our ethnicity that brings us together; rather, it is the ideals that we share, the responsibilities that we embrace, and the opportunities that we enjoy that unite us as proud Americans. These are worthy lessons for our youth as they embark on lives as active and engaged citizens.
USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas
Although I had competed in countless events, it was an entirely different experience to compete as a member of Team U.S.A. in the Olympic Games. When I wore my red, white, and blue uniform it reminded me what it meant to be an American citizen. Even though I always wanted to win a gold medal, I also always wanted to represent my country with honor and integrity.
Being an American citizen is a privilege that comes with great responsibility. Each one of us must take action to build a stronger nation. By educating and inspiring our future leaders, Citizenship Counts is creating a brighter tomorrow for all of us. And community service anywhere is an example that encourages better communities everywhere.
Olympic Gold Medalist and Gymnast Kerri Strug
The community of Gilbert is pleased to collaborate with Citizenship Counts to educate the students at Mesquite High School about the privileges of American citizenship. As an organizer of Gilbert’s annual Constitution Week celebration, I believe it is important to instill patriotism and an appreciation for the value of citizenship with today’s youth. Gilbert is committed to citizenship education and this program which teaches the ideals that are paramount for our community.
Gilbert (AZ) Mayor John Lewis