Hispanic Chamber of Commerce hosts classes for prospective U.S. - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce hosts classes for prospective U.S. citizens

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YAKIMA, WA - The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce wants to help those eligible to get their citizenship through classes they're offering. 

The class only started about a week ago, and some of the things students are learning are history and reading and writing in English.

A group of about ten students gathered Thursday night in a small room at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to learn something that will be very vital in their lives: how they can become U.S. citizens. One of those students is resident Daniela Rivera.

"You know, I always try to do my best and try to be a good citizen," said Rivera.

For two days a week over the course of ten weeks, students will cover a wide array of topics that will prepare them not only for exams, but also to become active members in our community.

"We want to prepare them on how to speak English, how to do the interview, and how to answer the questions on the application," said teacher Hector Franco.

These classes aren't new for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

"Back in 1995 we had 1,500 people," said Franco. "We want to do that this year."

For Luis Mendoza, becoming a citizen is about starting a new chapter.

"As a resident I feel okay, but that's not how I want to be now...I want to change my life," Mendoza said.

He hopes that through this he can make a change in his community.

"In the school they need my vote, and I have my house in West Valley and I want to help," he said.

The class takes place every Tuesday and Thursday at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and it starts at 6:30 p.m. Each class costs $10 for a total of $200 for the entire program, but the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce said that there are scholarships available to cover the costs. For more information on the class and how to become a citizen, people can call the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at (509) 453-2050.

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