Ceremony welcomes 35 children from 14 countries

NEW YORK — May 12, 2011 – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administered the Oath of Allegiance to 35 children at a special naturalization ceremony at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Bronx Zoo on Monday, May 9.

USCIS New York District Director Andrea Quarantillo administered the oath to the new citizens who ranged in age from 20 months to 17 years old. John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, Deputy Bronx Borough President Aurelia Greene, and U.S. Rep. José E. Serrano were all in attendance.

The 35 citizenship candidates all currently live in the Bronx and originate from the following 14 countries: Albania, Antigua-Barbuda, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, The Republic of Georgia, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Pakistan, Togo, and Yemen.

Attached photo: The children of the Ali family (Gamal, Hala, Marxam, Mohamad, and Aysha), a Yemeni family now living in the Bronx, show off their new U.S. citizenship certificates following the naturalization ceremony on Monday, May 9 at WCS’s Bronx Zoo.

Back row pictured from left to right: Shannel Parsons, Director of Community Relations, Assemblyman Peter Rivera's office; Andrea J. Quarantillo, USCIS District Director, New York District; Richard Fedderman, Director of Constituent Services, Rep. Eliot Engel’s office; Tawfia Ali, the father of the five citizenship candidates; John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs; Rep. José E. Serrano; Ian Rivera, staff representative, Rep. Joe Crowley’s office; Josiris Urena, Community Representative, New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera’s Office.

Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Max Pulsinelli – 718-220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org
Steve Fairchild – 718-220-5189; sfairchild@wcs.org

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo
is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Adult admission is $16, children (3-12 years old) $12, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $14. Parking is $13 for cars and $16 for buses. The Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19, #22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit www.bronxzoo.com or call 718-367-1010.

If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a web link where they can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to: www.wcs.org.