Misa Garzon loves coaching soccer because he wants to help young people achieve their dreams. Reaching goals is something the May River High School head boys' coach knows plenty about
“I’m an American citizen. I am proud of it," Garzon says. "You will hear me say it.”
He says it with pride because he hasn't always been able to.
Garzon came to America from Venezuela with his family when he was just six years old. On Tuesday, he completed his 23 year dream of becoming an American citizen.
"It took everything in me to not break down in the ceremony just for being grateful for having an opportunity that many folks would like to have, but don’t, for whatever reason,” he says.
This journey has been a long road for Garzon and his family. He says his family wasn't in poverty in Venezuela, but chose to leave everything behind for better opportunities here.
Now that he's an adult, he recognizes the sacrifices his parents made to give him the life they wanted in America.
"As a six year old, you don't see the nights where my parents had to divide a loaf of bread just so we could have enough to eat," Garzon recalls. "To go from those humble beginnings to now, the process they went through just shows that when you want to accomplish something it's not easy."
Garzon didn’t have to earn citizenship. He was granted residency while in college.
But being able to call himself a citizen was something he’s always reached for.
“I wanted to be able to enjoy the full benefits," he says. "My kids were born here. My wife is from here. I wanted to be able to partake in everything that is part of being an American.”
Now with his dream achieved, Garzon hopes he can pass on his experiences to those he coaches and help them on their own paths
“Whatever the dream is, it’s hard. It’s strenuous. It’s stressful. It’s aggravating," Garzon says. "But as long as you keep fighting and pushing forth, it’s possible.”
And isn’t that what the American Dream is all about?
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