Citizenship and Its Perks

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This is the first of many blogs I will be writing for ANCA-WR as an intern. It is the first week of the internship and we have six months to go. I am very excited to be here and to get started.

I moved to America at the age of seven with my mother. She then started the process of  making us permanent residents and eventually citizens. My mother became a citizen two years ago when I turned 18. This meant that I had to apply on my own. A few days ago on January 4, I became a citizen of the United States. It has been a very long journey of 11 years, but I can now vote. I have been anxiously waiting to have the ability to participate in elections ever since I took an elective law class in the 8th grade. I am excited about going to jury duty, which is something people constantly make fun of me about. In high school, my class had an internship at the Van Nuys Courthouse. We would sit in on trials and observed how the judges would conduct them. I knew then, that that was the kind of profession I wanted to pursue and knew I had to be a citizen for it to be possible.

Another reason I am very enthusiastic about my citizenship is that I can now go to Armenia. I have not been there since I left to come to America. I have many relatives there; however, one of the main reasons I want to go is because I no longer remember it. I would like to stay there for a summer and experience it once again. I have fond childhood memories of tourists coming from America and bringing us presents.  I obviously loved the gracious presents but loved visiting the sites of my homeland with them even more.  Now, as an adult, I am very excited about re-visiting the same sites, the churches, Sevan, the museums and much more. This time around, I would also like to experience Nagorno-Karabakh as well because I never had the chance to visit it as a child. In my opinion, this trip would benefit me so much more than staying in Los Angeles for another summer. I will miss my friends and family here; however, I think re-visiting my homeland will help make me a stronger Armenian.

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