By Emily Laney, Atlanta Program Manager for Refugee and Immigration Services
On February 11, 2015, Lutheran Services of Georgia's Refugee and Immigration Services team participated in the New Americans Celebration at the Capitol, organized by the Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies (CRSA). Fifteen LSG staff, interns, and clients attended this exciting annual event, joining representatives from other resettlement agencies throughout Georgia.
Our group visited the offices of elected officials to distribute information about refugees in Georgia and the many ways refugees contribute to making Georgia a great state. We used the page system to invite our elected officials to speak with us. Several came out to meet with us, and we were able to introduce them to many of our clients and staff members who have incredible stories to share.
In the afternoon, our group participated in a moving Naturalization Ceremony at the Capitol. Students in Clarkston High School's culinary program served appetizers to celebration participants and legislators. Twelve former refugees, including two former LSG clients, took the oath to become American citizens. Both clients were resettled by LSG five years ago, and finally received their U.S. citizenship. The Naturalization Ceremony was a powerful moment for the staff, clients, and elected officials who attended the event. Our clients have been through so much, and it was wonderful to see them take this huge step towards discovering their own American Dream.