In Prince George’s County, Maryland, Doctors Community Hospital applies a high level of care to their patients as well as to their 1,500 employees. Since August 2014 this non-profit hospital has, through a partnership with New American Workforce, provided free citizenship classes and legal services to employees interested in becoming United States citizens. The citizenship resources are made possible through a local service provider, the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN).
Patient Coordinator, Karlene Cameron, has worked at Doctors Community Hospital for the past 11 years. Having lived in the U.S for over 35 years, longer than her residence in her home county, Jamaica, Karlene had a strong desire to become a U.S. citizen. She was particularly motivated given that her husband, most of her siblings, and her two children are all U.S. citizens. However, a lack of knowledge about the citizenship process and limited financial resources created barriers for her citizenship application. That is why Karlene was overjoyed and relieved when Doctors Community Hospital and New American Workforce partnered to bring citizenship assistance to the workplace. Karlene noted:
“I felt a lot more comfortable going through the agency [New American Workforce]. And it was so great that it was done through my job. This agency came to the campus so I didn’t miss a day of work or leave to go anywhere. I couldn’t be happier!”
In October 2016, Karlene interviewed to become a U.S. citizen. That same day, she gave her Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony and completed her American Dream of citizenship. After voting for the first time in the 2016 presidential election, Karlene recently obtained her U.S. passport so she could take a cruise through the Bahamas. The days keep getting happier for Karlene, thanks in large part to Doctors Community Hospital and New American Workforce.