For Akuol

Posted on November 17, 2017

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Petitioners are sworn in as new citizens in front of The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights during a naturalization ceremony at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., June 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

“W-A-S-H-I-N-G-T-O-N.” – Akuol

Akuol was struggling learning to spell the word “Washington.” She had been studying for her citizenship exam for months. This would be her second attempt. Akuol attended evening English classes taught by Cynthia, a CNNC AmeriCorps ACCESS member. Despite Akuol’s long work days, she always made it to class.

A native of South Sudan, Akuol escaped the violence and war that  ripped apart her native country. She walked for miles and miles until she reached a refugee camp. Eight years later, she found a new home in High Point, North Carolina.

One evening, while working on ways to sound out and spell the word “W-A-S-H-I-N-T-O-N,” something clicked. Akuol’s satisfied smile quickly turned to tears of sadness and joy. She started to cry and recount her journey to the U.S. For Akuol, spelling Washington meant gaining freedom and opportunity.

A few months later, Akuol walked into the classroom and proudly exclaimed, “I passed the test! I am a citizen now! It’s all because of you.”

Every day, the CNNC, through programs like the AmeriCorps ACCESS Project, is in the community helping people like Akuol work toward self-sufficiency. Often they thank us, and remind us that we live in a land rich with hope.

You can help people like Akuol.

This giving season we are raising $5,000 to transform the lives of our newest neighbors.

#GivingTuesday is November 30th. Learn more about our #GivingTuesday campaign: My Living Story, read previous stories, and sign-up to receive a story in your inbox every Tuesday in the month of November.

Here’s how to give:

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