Opportunity is what drove Lian Mung’s 11-year journey to U.S. citizenship.
The chance to have a better life is why the ACE English student applied to come to the United States from his native country of Burma. “The reason I wanted to come to the U.S. is opportunity!”
Now, his journey of more than a decade has resulted in Lian earning U.S. citizenship, which required learning to read, write and speak basic English. That’s where ACE English classes have helped him the most.
English teacher Brenda Lee has taught Lian for the past two years and she said he is a model student. “His can-do, positive attitude and bubbling personality is an asset to our classroom.”
This year Lian has also been in an online citizenship class taught by Vania Aguilar. “Lian is a very determined person. He is very committed to attending class and improving his English,” Aguilar explained. “Lian studies every chance he gets, at night, during work breaks and early in the morning.”
Both Lee and Aguilar met with Lian specifically to help him prepare for the citizenship test. Aguilar said she reviewed all of the civics questions, reading and writing portions of the test and went over the application before his citizenship interview. He passed the test and was recommended for citizenship last month.
Lian was 25 years old when he first applied for a visa to come to the U.S. and he waited nearly 6 years until he was granted permission to come. Lian came to the United States five years ago and has lived in New York, Tennessee and now Thomasville, Georgia. He works at a Publix in Tallahassee and attends night classes at Adult & Community Education School.
“My future opportunities are directly related to my English,” Lian explained. “I have a lot of dreams, but need to know English to reach them.”
Lian took the oath of citizenship 10 days after the general election in 2020 so he just missed the opportunity to vote, which is one of the things he is most excited about getting to do as a new U.S. citizen. Lian said one of his dreams is to travel and explore his new country. The better his English the easier that will be, he said.