Skip Navigation
Suggest a story
Image for More than 80 new citizens celebrate after graduating from program at Jefferson Adult
New citizens who have come to the USA from across the globe celebrate their success!

More than 80 new citizens celebrate after graduating from program at Jefferson Adult

June 04, 2018 - Points of Pride

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

To 80 students in the Jefferson Adult and Community School Citizenship classes who have successfully earned their new American citizenship, these words have much meaning. These students represent countries from all over the globe, including China, Columbia, Cuba, Morroco and Venezuela. They worked and studied hard, and passed the  citizenship test and because of their efforts, were recently celebrated with lots of food, fellowship, fun and red, white and blue flags at Jefferson High School. 

These new citizens and their families were recognized by their school administrator, instructors and the community as their names were read and they walked across the stage.  They were greeted with hugs, handshakes, their certificate of completion and a small flag to celebrate their citizenship.

In remarks to the new citizens, instructors praised their student's work ethic and perserverance. A reminder to keep practicing their English skills at home and at work was echoed by both instructors, while the school administrator Pam Elles congratulated them for reaching a milestone that will make a big difference in their lives.  She also invited them back, just to stay in touch, to say hello or to take another class. 

Tampa City Councilman Charlie Miranda, a distinguished alumnus from Jefferson High School and regular attendee of the citizenship celebrations, spoke in both English and Spanish to the students, encouraging them to be active in their community, exercise their new rights and to continue to love their families, their culture and their new community and country. 

Among the many successful new citizens from this year's class are a mother and son, Sandy and Wilber Castano.  They are from Cuba, and they have worked very hard to become productive members of the Tampa community.  Sandy owns and manages a licensed home child care business and Wilber works with his father in his trucking business in Tampa. Both Sandy and Wilber passed their test very recently, and they radiate pride when talking about the experience. Wilber Jr. hopes to pursue a career in law enforcement, and earning his citizenship was the first step in that process.

Congratulations and welcome to our newest citizens! Share the fun by watching a video, Citizenship Celebration 2018!

For more information about  the Citizenship Program at Jefferson Adult and Community School, please call Pam Elles, Administrator, at (813) 356-1291 or email her at To find out how to become a United States Citizen, visit

View Full Album