In a heartfelt ceremony at the César E. Chávez National Monument in Keene, Lucy Chege, a dedicated nurse and holder of a Master’s Degree, took a significant step towards a new chapter in her life.
After 16 years of living in the United States, she, along with 29 other foreigners from diverse backgrounds, stood united in an oath-taking ceremony, pledging their allegiance to the U.S. Constitution.
The event, overseen by W. Patrick Lujan, the acting director of the Fresno Field Office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, marked a pivotal moment for Lucy and her fellow immigrants.
As part of the naturalization process, they solemnly declared, “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen, so help me God.” This collective declaration marked their transition into American citizens.
For Lucy Chege, this ceremony was more than a legal formality; it was the culmination of a transformative journey that began in 2007 when she first arrived in the U.S. to pursue her university education.
Over the years, she dedicated herself to her studies, earning a Master’s degree in Public Health and establishing a career in nursing.
“I’m a nurse by profession. I got my Masters in Public Health, and now, I’m a U.S. citizen,” she proudly announced. Her joy was palpable as she expressed gratitude for the opportunity the United States had given her.
“It’s surreal. I don’t know how to explain it. You’re kind of in a new family, but there’s a family that you know. I’m happy that I get to do this and that the U.S. gets to give us this opportunity.”
However, this achievement did not come without sacrifice.
One of the conditions for obtaining her U.S. citizenship was renouncing her Kenyan citizenship.
Despite the emotional challenge of parting ways with her motherland, Lucy embraced this change with determination, acknowledging the bittersweet reality that accompanies such a significant life event.