Dozens of people fulfilled their longtime dream of becoming American citizens during a ceremony at Goodwin College in East Hartford Wednesday.
Thirty people representing 22 countries took the oath of citizenship as families and friends stood by in support.
Among the countries represented at the ceremony were the Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, China and Ecuador.
Ruramai Mbabali, who is originally from Zimbabwe and has been in the United States since she was 19, said the greatest privilege of gaining her citizenship is gaining a say in American democracy.
“Voting. It’s really exciting that I’ll get to be a part of that, especially after being here for so long and not having that opportunity. It’s going to be such a big thing for my family,” she said.
“I didn’t know it was going to be this huge celebration about it. I thought it was going to be something small. It was good. I felt special” said Anny Botelho, a new citizen who emigrated from Brazil.
The ceremony was delayed by a week. It had been postponed from Dec. 5, which was observed as a national day of mourning following the death of President George H.W. Bush.