Citizenship class offers opportunity
Marcela Capdevila was a laparoscopic surgery instructor in Argentina.
But when she came to the United States six years ago, she was forced to seek work as a nanny.
Hoping to improve her situation, she enrolled in a citizenship class at Miami Dade College’s North Campus.
This is the first semester the six week long class is being offered at the campus. The course is free and takes place on Saturdays. A new session starts in March.
“Its main focus is on the oral aspect,” said Sheryl Garayta, an adult education program manager. “So many people are terrified to speak in English but with practice, they build confidence with the language,”
The class covers all aspects of the United States immigration and naturalization service citizenship exam.
Capdevila has only been to one class, but she is confident, she will learn a lot.
“It’s very dynamic,” Capdevila said. “The professor— Kyrstal Kessee— is great.”
Kessee, who also teaches in the school of education, decided to teach the class because she wanted to assist students who are struggling with the naturalization process.
“They have a hard time navigating through it,” Kessee said.
Life in the United States has not been easy for Capdevila. She has had to work jobs that pay her “under-the-table.”
“I was practically a doctor in my country but in the United States, I was cleaning houses and taking care of kids who weren’t even mine. It was really depressing.”
She dreams of becoming a surgical assistant and find employment where she can grow.
“Marcela is a great student and has a better understanding on how the government works,” Kessee said.
Despite the hardships, Capdevila is glad she made the choice to come to the U.S.
“I am divorced, have a 4-year-old daughter, and am currently unemployed,” Capdevila said. “I want to become a citizen so that I can have a better life for my daughter and for myself.”