Colombian-American passes citizenship test with Sisters’ help

by Renae Bauer
published June 2017

What are the odds? 

Two or three years ago, while helping an adult student with English language skills, Sister Mary Berg toyed with taking on another student. As she thumbed through the profiles, Martha Osorio’s popped out. Little did Sister know that Martha had studied with another member of this Community, Sister Jeanne Jarvis, a longtime literacy volunteer who had retired. 

Initially, Sister Mary was hesitant to journey with someone who was pursuing U.S. citizenship but that changed after meeting Martha. 

Each week, Martha and Sister Mary worked on a portion of the 100 preparatory questions. Questions ranged from elements of the U.S. flag, to geography and branches of government. “It’s not hard to work with someone like Sister Mary,” said Martha, who was raised in Colombia. When it was time for the naturalization test, Martha breezed through all the questions which touched on her background, her paperwork, English skills and civics knowledge. On April 20, Martha became a U.S. citizen along with her husband, Manuel, and 60 people representing 30 countries. 

Sister Mary said helping someone gain citizenship was rewarding; she encourages others to volunteer for their local literacy organization. 

Congratulations, Martha!


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CITIZENSHIP PROCESS: Martha Osorio, right, proudly holds her Certificate of Naturalization. Helping her master her English skills and civics knowledge were Sister Mary Berg, left, and Sister Jeanne Jarvis. (Renae Bauer photo)

Could you pass the test?

Part of the US citizenship application process is the civics test. There are 100 questions. During the interview portion of the test, applicants are asked up to 10 questions; they must answer 6 correctly. Try the Washington Times' quiz and test your knowledge!