Macon Chronicle-Herald - Macon, MO
  • Student gains citizenship

  • Macon High School Cheerleader Eleyna Kohl was born in Guatemala. On Jan. 11, she received her U.S. Citizenship in a ceremony in St. Louis.
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  • If you have attended a Macon basketball game, you have probably seen Eleyna Kohl on the sidelines cheering on her tigers. But did you know Eleyna was originally from Guatemala?
    Eleyna was brought to Macon in 2002. Then she was put under the care of Russell and the late Wilma Kohl. After two years, Russell and Wilma adopted Eleyna. But it wasn't until last year that Eleyna's citizenship became more pertinent.
    "She had never gone through citizenship and last year we were having issues with social security so we started the process in March 2012," said Russell. "It took till September to get all the materials such as the original birth certificate from Guatemala and legion documents."
    All of Eleyna's documents were then sent to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and on December 15, they were notified she could pick up her certificate in St. Louis.
    "At first I was kind of nervous when we had to go because I didn't know what it was like or what I would have to do," said Eleyna. "But now I'm happy it is done and that I have it now."
    During the ceremony on January 11 at the federal building in St. Louis, Eleyna took an oath of allegiance, said the pledge of allegiance, listened to messages from President Barack Obama and watched a couple of slideshows.
    "It was a low key event," said Russell. "And her certificate means she is a full-fledged citizen of the United States of America."
    After Eleyna graduates next year she plans on attending college to be in the medical field.

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