Eastgate Elementary School welcomed 22 new citizens -- some of whom are parents of children in the school -- in a naturalization ceremony held at the school on Wednesday.
The student body welcomed the new citizens with by singing patriotic songs and colors were posted by the Eastgate Junior Girl Scout Troop 42824.
Mayor Conrad Lee, who also is a naturalized citizen, joined the school in welcoming the new citizens and offered a keynote address.
According to the Bellevue School District's website:
Those certificates mean everything to new citizens like Carlos Gimenez, who moved to Bellevue from Chile when he was 17. He graduated from Interlake High School in 2001, obtained his Associate’s Degree from Bellevue College, earned a degree in Architecture from the University of Washington and now owns his own construction business. “To me, personally, it’s an immigrant dream, by coming here, working hard to obtain your freedom,” Gimenez says. “It’s kind of like being born again.”
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency officially recognized Presidents Day, Feb. 15 through Feb. 22, by welcoming more than 19,000 people as U.S. citizens during 135 naturalization ceremonies across the country during that timeframe.
Bellevue School District: New Citizens Sworn in at Eastgate