Aracelis Polanco with her son at Halloween 2018. Photo courtesy of Aracelis Polanco.
Astoria, NY- Aracelis Polanco failed the first time she took her citizenship exam. Polanco first came to CIANA in April 2018 for civics and ESL courses hoping she could become a US citizen. She filled out the paperwork with CIANA's legal program and spent several months studying, but it wasn't enough.
“I was able to pass the writing and the history, but I wasn’t able to pass the speaking test,” she says.
Despite this, Polanco chose to come back to CIANA because she knew that with the help of CIANA staff and volunteers, she could pass her next attempt. After studying in CIANA’s ESL classes, she passed her exam on her second attempt.
Polanco still comes by CIANA with one of her daughters, who is in the elementary after school program, and knows she’ll come back for services for herself if she needs help because of how different the atmosphere is.
“I like CIANA, all of the people, it’s very nice; the attention and the respect. The help that you offer me, that’s what I like about it.”