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Fourth of July extra special for those celebrating new U.S. citizenship

20 people became U.S. citizens on America's 242nd birthday

WINTER PARK, Fla. – On America's 242nd birthday, a group of people had special cause to celebrate when they became U.S. Citizens.

During a naturalization ceremony held in Winter Park on the Fourth of July as many as 20 people from 10 different countries pledged their allegiance to the United States of America.

Joana Felix said she came from Haiti for new possibilities.

"Everybody, like, dreams to come here to look for opportunity to become a better person," she said.

In the six years since she's arrived in the U.S.  she's attended school to learn English and to get her CNA certifications.

Njegomir Pavlovic's journey was much longer. His parents brought him to the U.S. in 1996. He graduated from Lyman High School and was the last in his family to become a citizen.

"I went to school here I did everything here I just never pulled the plug on the process," he said.

The naturalization process can take years, a person is required to be a green card holder for five years, and must be over 18. Roughly 700,000 people become naturalized citizens each year.