The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

January 22, 2011

Junior Fellows to host prep course for citizenship

HUNTSVILLE — The Sam Houston State University Political Science Junior Fellows and the Huntsville Public Library are now accepting applications for their fourth annual preparation course for the American Nationalization Exam.

The five-week course will begin Monday, Feb. 7, and will be held each Monday night through March 7. All local immigrants seeking citizenship with at least an intermediate command of the English language are encouraged to apply for the free class.

“For immigrants, citizenship is part of the American Dream,” said Dana Angello, Junior Fellows president. “This program is a way to help immigrants achieve that dream legally and efficiently.”  

The course will guide immigrants through the process of obtaining citizenship, including eligibility requirements, paperwork and the naturalization exam itself. Instruction will be divided into lectures by Junior Fellows adviser and SHSU political science professor Mike Yawn and group tutoring by Junior Fellows members. Topics covered in the course will include an overview of the naturalization process and a study of U.S. governmental structure and history. The course will conclude with a recap and a “Thanksgiving dinner,” in which each participant brings a dish from his home country.

“It’s a unique program,” Yawn said. “It provides immigrants with a better understanding of the United States, while also giving the student volunteers a chance to learn more about the world.”

More than 60 local immigrants from 20 countries, including Mexico, Pakistan, England, The Netherlands and Germany, have participated in the course over the three years its been offered. Several participants have earned citizenship.

Mazhar Mahmood, an immigrant from Pakistan, earned his citizenship in September 2010 after participating in the course. He called the day he earned U.S. citizenship “one of the greatest days of my life.”

The deadline to sign up for the course is Feb. 5. For more information contact Yawn at (936) 294-1456 or or Richard Lane at the Huntsville Public Library at (936) 291-5912 or


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