Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Progresso Hispano: Training Our Newest Citizens

Last week I was asked to address a graduation ceremony for a citizenship class at Progresso Hispano on U.S. 1. Progresso is one of the four big charities on U.S. 1 that meets the needs of one of the more under-served communities in our area.

The Hispanic population in the U.S. 1 cooridor has been exploding over the last decade. This has created many new challenges in our area.

It was a terrific ceremony and I was honored to address these candidates for citizenship. As you can see from the picture everyone was very excited about becoming Americans very soon.

Many people take basic community knowledge for granted - e.g. that you need to register a child for school, where to appeal a parking ticket, the difference between the City of Alexandria and Fairfax County. Integrating these new residents into our community and our community institutions requires outreach, training, and immersion in the community. That is exactly what Progresso is doing.

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