Free citizenship class offered in Sherman

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SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) -- Anyone applying to become a U.S. citizen must pass a naturalization test, examining applicants' English and knowledge of U.S. history.

It's a test people in Sherman are now able to study for together and at no cost.

"I didn't think I was going to be able to learn," Patricia Delgado said.

"We are actually making a step forward, we are changing," Jose Daniel Cartagena said.

In the old Key Memorial United Methodist Church building in Sherman, 10 to 15 people show up twice a week to learn about U.S. history and government.

Jose Daniel Cartagena and Patricia Delgado are two of them.

"The more you know, the more you fall in love with this country because you start feeling a part of this country and you'd like to do something for the country," Cartagena said.

"It's been helpful for everybody and we're just very excited and nervous at the same time," Delgado said.

Delgado and Cartagena both entered the U.S. legally more than two decades ago.

While Cartagena is planning to apply for citizenship in the next few weeks, Delgado applied back in June and is still waiting to get called in for the interview and test.

In the meantime, they study.

"They go to work full time, they have families at home and they sacrifice two nights a week to come for four hours and just drill and get ready for this," Constance Coffee said.

Constance Coffee teaches the free class through Grayson County College. It started in February and is funded through a state grant.

She prepares them for the U.S. naturalization interview that includes an English and civics test.

"So they know exactly what's on the application, they have to learn 100 citizenship questions that they orally have to answer," Coffee said.

And as these adults study, they are also saving up to apply for the fee is nearly $700.

"We're all working on saving money in order to make this dream come true," Delgado said.

If you want to participate in the class, come to Key Memorial United Methodist Church in Sherman from 4:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays.

If you want to donate or help in another way, contact Ashley Trevino with Grayson College's Adult Education and Literacy Program at or 903-463-8784.

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