Emporia State student juggles college, softball while studying for citizenship test

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An Emporia State University student is juggling college classes and being a student-athlete, all while studying to become an American citizen.

On the Emporia State softball field, you will find Destiny Ojigoh. A soon to be college junior, and now an American citizen.

“It was hard to balance everything,” Destiny said. “But I got it done.”

Destiny was born in Toronto, Canada. She moved to the United States with her family when she was 11-months-old.

“I’ve heard that it’s cold,” Destiny said. “I’ve heard it’s beautiful. But I have no memory of it.”

Under current laws, immigrants have to be at least 18-years-old and have been a permanent resident for at least 5-years to apply for citizenship. When she turned 18 a year ago, she had to study to be an American. Determined to pass her test using the same passion she has on the softball field.

“I just keep pushing,” Destiny said. “I’m doing it for my family. There’s no way we’re going to be separated. Nothing to worry about.”

Her teammates stepped up to the plate, helping her study whenever she needed it.

“On the way to games, in between games, they were testing me and quizzing me,” Destiny said. “Making sure I got everything.”

Her coach, April Rosales, didn’t even know Destiny was going through the process.

“I got a text message one night saying, ‘Hey coach, don’t forget I’m going to miss practice on…’, I think it was Monday,” April said. “‘I have to go do this biometric testing thing for my citizenship.’ And I read my text message and was like, you’re not a citizen?”

But once she knew, she was there for Destiny as she rounded the bases to her final test, passing, with a perfect score of 100 percent.

“She’s always been a kid that’s going to go out and work hard,” April said. “But I think that’s something that she really has had instilled in her because of her background.”

“I’m thankful I got the opportunity to become a citizen,” Destiny said. “And I’m super excited for where it takes me.”

Destiny said the first thing she is excited to do as an official citizen is voting.

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