Palmira Ortiz found herself at a crossroads that would reshape her life and carry forward her father’s unfulfilled dream. Her father had harbored a deep desire to become a U.S. citizen, envisioning a brighter future for their family. Intent on honoring his legacy, Palmira, after a five-year wait with her green card, was set to apply for citizenship. Little did she anticipate that a global pandemic would cast a cloud of uncertainty over her aspirations.
As COVID-19 forced the world into isolation, Palmira grappled with insecurities about her English proficiency and the daunting citizenship interview. However, fate intervened one day when she noticed a sign offering assistance from the Asian Community Development Council (ACDC), a funded community partner of United Way of Southern Nevada (UWSN). Together, UWSN and ACDC are dedicated to helping aspiring citizens navigate the application process. Intrigued, Palmira captured a photo of the sign and, after contemplation, mustered the courage to reach out.
Thanks to your generous donations to United Way of Southern Nevada, we can fund organizations like ACDC that can be a guiding light for people like Palmira who are navigating the U.S. citizenship application process. Sitting down with them, step by step, they demystified the process, alleviating her fears and empowering her to face the unknown. With the application submitted, Palmira, though still anxious, found solace in prayer, realizing she was bravely taking the reins of her journey. The subsequent days were filled with diligent study and practice, culminating in an interview that, to her surprise, felt remarkably easy.
The joy that radiated from Palmira upon receiving the news of her successful citizenship was immeasurable. Not only had she achieved a personal milestone, but she had also fulfilled her father’s wish. Grateful for the opportunities bestowed upon her, Palmira encourages others with a simple message: “For anyone who wants to apply for citizenship, you can do it. Don’t be scared. I’m so blessed to be a U.S. citizen now because I know I have good opportunities. I can watch my kids grow up and graduate. I can vote and I can make a difference in my country. And I believe you can too.” Palmira’s story is a testament to resilience, community support, and the transformative power of pursuing one’s dreams. You can be a part of transforming people’s lives like Palmira by making a gift to United Way of Southern Nevada today at uwsn.org/donate.