Ceremony at Century II welcomes new U.S. Citizens

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

It was a special day for our country as people from near and far were welcomed home for the first time as US citizens.

"I am so happy because I am becoming a citizen today,” said Caridad Mateo from Cuba.

Mateo was one of nearly 200 people who proudly took the Oath of Allegiance during Tuesday's naturalization ceremony at Century II. Looking around the room, it was nothing but smiles and celebration. 

"It's overwhelming. To get the opportunity to become a US citizen and just do what I've been trained to do is just an awesome feeling for me," said Samuel Ofei-Dodoo from Ghana, Africa.

Ofei-Dodoo is now working as a Health Psychologist at the KU Medical Center where he helps train new doctors. 

The ceremony included people from 42 countries, but like Mateo, this wasn't an easy accomplishment for many of them.

"It was so hard for me. But I'm here. I got it," said Mateo.

Out of all the great things this country has to offer, what they are most excited about is something that some people in the United States take for granted.

"First, I'm going to register to vote," said Mateo.

"That I get a chance to vote. That is something that I have always wanted to do. And now I have the opportunity to actually go in and vote, to decide who I want to represent me as a US citizen," said Ofei-Dodoo. 

The message to them from friends, family and even the Judges was the same… Welcome home.

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