HARLINGEN — Ten children enjoyed a Halloween party Friday to celebrate their new citizenship.
The party took place at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office at 1717 Zoy St. in Harlingen where they received goodie bags and took pictures with an employee dressed as the Statue of Liberty.
The children, all from Mexico, had obtained their citizenship through their parents.
“Some children came dressed up,” said Norma Limon, field office director.
“Everything went well,” she said. “Every year we host a naturalization ceremony for children.”
She told her own story about moving from Matamoros to Texas when she was younger.
“I shared how I didn’t speak a word of English when I got here,” she said. “I had to repeat seventh grade because I didn’t speak English.”
She searched for ways to assimilate into the culture, and decided to join the volleyball team even though she didn’t know how to play the game. It was simply a way to be a part of something in her new country, but over time it became a passion for her.
“When I went to high school in tenth grade I wanted to really know how to play, so I asked my coach how to play,” she said. “By my junior year she encouraged me to compete for the varsity team, which I did. Not only did I play every time, I never sat on the bench. I was on the first string.”
In her senior year at Porter High School in Brownsville, she was named captain of the volleyball team. So impressive was her performance on the court she received a volleyball scholarship to play at Texas Southmost College.
“My message there was, anything in life, you get out what you put in,” she said. “You work hard, you reap the fruits of hard work. That was my speech this morning, to encourage them to dream big.”