At InTouch, we pride ourselves on being a team of some pretty cool, diverse, talented folks. We come from different backgrounds, different states, even different countries. In fact, it’s this international spirit that’s causing us to take a moment to celebrate one of our own who recently became a full-fledged US Citizen.
On August 13, 2018, Svet was sworn in as a US Citizen. Yet his journey to this moment began many years prior. Svet grew up in Bulgaria and lived with his grandparents until December 1998, when he came over to join his parents in the suburbs of Chicago. He was 11 years old. His parents had come here 7 years prior to establish a home for their family. While he was growing up in Bulgaria, Svet looked forward to joining his parents in the States and would constantly watch American movies, particularly action films and Disney. So, you can imagine the kind of idea he had about America as a child!
When he arrived, America wasn’t quite the fantastic hero-packed land of his imagination, but his parents helped smooth the transition. They took him to Disney World where he was able to put some substance to his ideas of America with which he grew up—at least at Disney, his ideas didn’t seem quite so farfetched!
Life in America
Thanks to many American movies and a school system in Bulgaria that encouraged English as a second language, Svet had a decent handle on English when he arrived—but he was by no means fluent. Fortunately, he met other Bulgarian kids in his classes at school who helped him acclimate not only to the language but the culture, too. After being in the country for 8 years, he was eligible for a green card and worked for some time before going back to school for an AAS degree as a Local Area Network Technician. Soon after, however, he discovered his true passion lies in SEO, and he joined the InTouch team in December 2017.
Back to Bulgaria
While he doesn’t get back to Bulgaria as much as he would like, he has visited several times over the years. He went back a few times while he was growing up but then had a 10-year gap between visits before returning 4 years ago. Next year, he and his family are returning for his father’s 60th birthday (and we all hope we’re invited, too!).
The Path to Citizenship
The end of 2018 marks the 20th year of Svet’s life in America—what a fitting time to become a citizen! He began the process of gaining citizenship 2 years ago. It involved a screening process, an interview, testing on the US Constitution and political system, as well as verbal and written tests on his grasp of the English language. Svet passed with flying colors and so attended a swearing-in ceremony to officially complete his journey toward US Citizenship.
So, why go through the citizenship process when you already have a green card? Well, Svet decided to become a US citizen for a variety of reasons. For one, a green card holder isn’t able to vote, but as a US citizen, he is! As a father, he considers voting to be an important part of setting up a bright future for his children. Additionally, when the time comes for him to retire, he will be able to stay in this country, where he now has a family of his own and is well-established, instead of returning to Bulgaria.
As for Us, We’re Pleased as Punch
Needless to say, we’re all pretty proud of Svet! And his accomplishment gives us another reason to do one of the things we love most: eat cake. Building a team with varying backgrounds and experiences is part of what makes us so good at what we do. Each member contributes their own unique talents, and we’re lucky to have Svet as an integral part of the team!