It's a dream for many across the world to come to America and become a citizen. This Friday at Monticello that dream will come true for more than 70 people from 39 different countries.
This event is one of the most popular all year at Monticello, where citizens of different nations are naturalized at Thomas Jefferson’s home. I spoke with I-Jen Fang from Taiwan that moved to the United States almost 20 years ago, and is finally becoming a US Citizen.
"It means a lot. You know I've been here for 19 years which is more than half of my life so this feels [like] home," she comments.
The set-up has begun at Monticello for the big event, where citizens like I-Jen will be naturalized.
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"I'm very fortunate and am glad because I have the UVA affiliation; its Thomas Jefferson's school and I get to go to Thomas Jefferson's home to get naturalized."
A percussion teacher at UVA, she was motivated by her husband and son to go through the process.
"Especially after I gave birth to my son I feel like, yeah, it’s time for me to become a U.S. citizen."
This event can open your eyes toward many people’s struggles and triumphs to be a part of this country.
"It's a really poignant reminder I think for me, someone who's had the great fortune of being born in the United States to be reminded of the sacrifices and the difficulty that many people have experienced to come here," says Gary Sandling, vice president of visitor programs and services.
The citizens to be naturalized are given the opportunity to tell their story on how they now call the United States home.
“To hear those stories and to hear those people talk about what they've been through is really moving," mentions Sandling.
Dave Matthews was the guest speaker last year. This year it’s David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group in Washington D.C. According to Forbes Magazine, his net worth is right around $3.1 billion.