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Teacher helps students chase dream of U.S. citizenship

Reported by: Krystal Allan
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Updated: 5/07/2013 4:57 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day, a day set aside to offer words of thanks and appreciation to those special people who take their time to instruct, mentor or guide us along the path of knowledge.

This is the story of Jackie Ramos, a Las Vegas teacher who dedicates her classroom time to teaching about America, nurturing an understanding of our country for those hoping to find a better life.

“Everybody in our class has a unique story,” Ramos said.

Each student may have a different storyline, but this chapter in their lives reads very much the same: their goal.

“To be citizens of the United States and get more rights for me and my family, too,” said student Elizabeth Garcia.

Working to become an American citizen, students like Elizabeth say Ramos is the kind of instructor not typically thought of on Teacher Appreciation Day.

But, like traditional classroom teachers, Elizabeth says Ramos drives her students to work hard and see past even their expectations.

“I love this country, so I want to pass the love I feel for this country to them,” Ramos said. “I am myself naturalized. I know the struggles my students go through to become citizens.

This classroom has seen students with a wide range of struggles: Some barely speak or read English, yet spend four hours at a time learning American history, mostly in English.

Some face added barriers, like the three blind students who pushed through their challenges and the class to eventually earn their citizenship.

They are students inspiring the teachers working to motivate them. And Ramos is helping them build a foundation for a new life and gain a new country to officially call home.
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