Citizenship Preparation

at City College of San Francisco

Citizenship Day 2012

Chinatown/North Beach Campus Celebrates Citizenship Day - 2012

On Friday, October 26, 2012, the annual Citizenship Day Celebration was held at the auditorium of the new Chinatown North Beach Campus

Of the 114 students who became U.S. citizens this past year, forty-four attended this event.  More than 100 current Citizenship and ESL students were on hand to share in the achievement of the new citizens.

Staff and students were honored by the presence of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Interim Section Chief, Lee-Mei Chien, Section Chief William Cass, Trustee Rodrigo Santos,  Interim Vice Chancellor Joanne Low, and Dean Minh-Hoa Ta.

Ms. Chien congratulated the new citizens, telling them their responsibilities had just begun.  As a young child, Ms. Chien recalled that she was lucky and didn’t have to prepare for the test, because became naturalized along with her parents!  She encouraged current students to continue to study hard and wished them success in passing their naturalization tests.  She reminded everyone to vote in the upcoming elections. 

Dean Ta, gave heartfelt congratulations to the new citizens and recognized all the  citizenship teachers as well for their hard work.  She shared her experiences as an immigrant and naturalized citizen, acknowledging the difficulties students face, and determination and hard work needed to overcome them. She also encouraged students to continue studying English, improve their lives, and be sure to VOTE!

Interim Vice Chancellor Joanne Low extended congratulations to the new citizens and expressed extreme pride in the fact that over the years the Chinatown NorthBeach Campus of CCSF has helped thousands of students to gain their citizenship.

She especially acknowledged contributions of Elaine Wang, retired citizenship teacher, for starting the Citizenship Day Celebration over 30 years ago and other CNB instructors for teaching and developing citizenship materials.  She encourages the new citizens to vote and become active participants in the community. Ms. Low thanked all the students for their active support and contributions towards getting our new campus built.  She also thanked the citizens of San Francisco and California, who voted for the the bonds that built our school.  The new Chinatown North Beach Campus is a concrete example of the importance of voting!

Trustee Rodrigo Santos warmly congratulated the students and spoke of his own experience being a naturalized citizen in 1988.  He came to the U.S. from Ecuador in 1977.  He emphasized the importance of voting and also said, if it hadn’t been for the voters, we wouldn’t have this building today.

Wayne Lee, our Master of Ceremony, read a letter from Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, congratulating the new citizens on their hard work and achieving their goal of passing the citizenship test.  She reminded them of their rights and responsibilities of citizenship – registering to vote and participating in their community, city and country.

A recent citizen, Ms. Fanny Zhen gave a heartwarming speech of her experiences,coming from China, taking six classes a day at the CHB Campus, from morning to night, getting a job, learning English, making friends and finally becoming a citizen.  She encouraged all new immigrants, the first thing to do when you arrive in the U.S. is to go to City College, that you can begin your future here!

The festive event was followed by a photo session with guests and the new citizens.

Citizenship Day (or Constitution Day) on September 17 commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787.  Over the past twenty-five years, the ESL/Citizenship faculty at the Chinatown-North Beach Campus has marked this occasion by acknowledging and extending congratulations to students who have become U.S. citizens within the last school year.


Dear Citizenship and Computer Lab Teachers:

To help students prepare for their naturalization tests, check out these videos on YouTube:

“Strategies for a Successful Citizenship Interview” (also on DVD), Tina Chin, Thomas Lee
These clips show the “Best", "OK", and "Worst” ways to pass/fail a naturalization interview. Different interview topics are covered, i.e. Trips Outside the U.S., Children, Employment, etc.

“Citizenship Mock Interview for Beginning Level Students”, Tina Chin
Each mock interview is a series of questions, similar to those in a naturalization interview.

Please view these documents for Directions:
Reference List, "Strategies for a Successful Citizenship Interview”
Directions and link to YouTube Citizenship Channel 2

We hope these are helpful for your students!

Marcia Chan, Tina Chin, Thomas Lee

If you would like more information, please contact Marcia Chan,