There seems to be no end to religious persecution on our planet. And this is exactly what brought Umida to the USA. The situation in her homeland, Uzbekistan, was unbearable. She survived in a refugee camp for 6 months, and was finally able to leave, arriving in Northern Virginia in 2010.
Her first visit with Just Neighbors was for assistance getting her green card and work permit so she could support herself. A few years later when she was eligible for citizenship, she returned to Just Neighbors to help her through the various steps towards becoming a citizen. This process normally takes about a year. But in Umida’s case, the process dragged on. Each time Just Neighbor’s followed up on her paperwork, the response was ‘pending background check’ with no further explanation. After nearly 3 years, Just Neighbor’s attorney Cristina Sproul was able to get congressional assistance which opened up the chance for her to finally take the citizenship exam and go for her interview. She passed with flying colors.
Now Umida says she wants to continue working as a certified nurse’s assistant, but also get certification in tailoring and sewing which is now her hobby but could also be a future career option. She also wants to go back to school to perfect her English.
“I love Just Neighbors. They are very friendly and working with heart. They helped me get my documents of green card and Naturalization. I love Cristina. She is kind and helpful.”