When Chuks Okorafor’s family immigrated to the United States in 2010, his father had a plan. It was an opportunity for him to have a better job, a better life for his family and a shot at the American Dream.
That America Dream also meant becoming a United States citizen.
Okorafor was born in Nigeria, and was raised in South Africa and the Republic of Botswana. When his family arrived in the United States, his dad didn’t waste any time. He began preparations for the family to become citizens.
It’s been a long journey, one filled with ups and downs, but it all paid off recently when Okorafor became a citizen at a United States Naturalization ceremony held at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh.
“It’s always been my dream and a dream for my family to do this and call ourselves U.S. citizens,” said Okorafor. “We have so many more rights because of it, including the right to vote. It makes me feel more comfortable here, safer here. This was important for us.”
Okorafor’s parents became citizens several months ago, something that brought him great joy because he knows what they went through to make it happen.
“I am prouder of my mom and dad for how much work they have done, moving from another country, getting us a better life,” said Okorafor. “Getting us in different places, different schools, better places and better schools, and now being a U.S. citizen.”
He took, and passed his citizenship test a few months ago, the final step in the journey. It was just a matter of waiting for the ceremony after that.
“It felt good,” said Okorafor of achieving the dream. “When you have something given to you, you don’t know how blessed you are. When you see people coming from different countries, you understand how important and great it is to live here and what all of it provides.”