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Twenty-One People Become U.S. Citizens at Orem Colonial Fest

Twenty-one individuals from 12 countries became naturalized citizens of the United States of America Friday morning at the Freedom Festival in Orem.

It was an exciting affair at Scera Park in Orem. Candidates for citizenship joined hundreds of Utah County residents at the Old-Timey festival. It was also the first day 21 immigrants could celebrate the birth of America as U.S. Citizens.

Naveen Nagarajan moved to the U.S. from India in 2003.  He’s a neuroscientist working at the University of Utah lab as a senior postdoctoral fellow.

“So right now, I can start my own laboratory and I can start applying for funding and I can compete like any other people of the United States for the betterment of mental health.”

Katia Spencer is from Peru. She followed her father to America at the age of 16.

“He always told us that we were going to have a better life, a better opportunity for schools, better jobs,” Spencer said. “It’s Fourth of July and it’s actually a good way to come and show how proud you are for being American.

Other citizens who were sworn in Friday came from Brazil, Austria, Equator, France, Iran, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Venezuela and Vietnam. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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