 Joel always aspired to be an American Citizen. He moved to the U.S. in 2012 from the DR at the of 19. Joel has Cerebral Palsy, but has never let it hold him back. As a child, he had very little opportunity for education due to a lack of transportation, aside from his difficulty in walking. However, Joel’s spirit and advocacy has never let his disability, poverty, neglect/abuse or sexual orientation limit his dream. With support from the Department of Developmental Services and others, Joel found a Shared Living Home provider where he feels accepted and loved as a family member. With the support of his team and technology, Joel learned to speak, read and write in English and completed his U.S. Citizenship interview. This past year Joel finally became a U.S. Citizen, received 2 certificates of completion for English and is in the process of completing his GED. Joel’s ultimate goal in life is to become an inspirational speaker and mentor, especially for those going through similar situations that he has experienced. Cindia emigrated from the Dominican Republic in 2009, at the age of 23. Cindia came determined to conquer the American Dream. Despite having been in college in the Dominican Republic majoring in accounting, once in the U.S., she recognized she would have to become accustomed to a new language and culture. She worked at jobs she had never thought of doing—such as, cleaning houses, working at offices and hospitals as well as working in factories. She, as many other immigrants, concentrated on working, and learning English was not a priority until she realized that in order for her to get ahead in life and make all her dreams come true, she needed to learn the language. Cindia registered for the Civics & American History course at the Quintana Center in preparation for her citizenship interview, where she entered an essay contest sponsored by Home Shop Properties. Cindia’s essay was chosen, and she was the recipient of a $725 award toward her Citizenship application fee. With assistance from the Quintana Center, she has filed her petition and is waiting for her interview date. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receive an average of 7 million petitions and applications annually. LAWRENCE PROSPERA FY’2018–2019 ANNUAL REPORT PAGE 8

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