Andrea Joseph, 103, hit a new life milestone as she was sworn in as a United States citizen.
Joseph joined 100 others on Friday for a naturalization ceremony at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services building in Miami on Friday. After the ceremony, which took place on Flag Day, Joseph posed for a picture waving the red, white and blue-striped American flag in front of a Lady Liberty statue to commemorate the significant moment.
Joseph was born on August 15, 1915 in Jacmel, Haiti. Her granddaughter, Mildred Ogé, believes Joseph could now be the oldest citizen in their north Miami zip code.
"We told her that she was going to become a ‘citoyen,’ which is a citizen in Creole French. She was excited, she was elated, overjoyed, even, that she finally can become a citizen of the United States of America,” Mildred Ogé, Joseph's granddaughter told Miami news station WSVN.
The matriarch’s family proudly stood around her as she finally held up her certificate of citizenship, showing that it’s never too late to achieve the American Dream.
"It is sentimental but also an encouragement to anyone who dreams of becoming a U.S. Citizen and contributing to the colorful landscape of this great nation,” McKenzie Fleurimond, Joseph's great-grandnephew, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
“Who would have thought that at 103 years old this woman from a small town in Haiti would still be breaking barriers? I’m very proud and inspired.”
The centenarian has been waiting to become a citizen after immigrating to the U.S. as a permanent resident over 15 years ago.
“She just wants to thank God that she's now able to be a United States citizen,” Ogé said, translating for the Haitian immigrant.
Joseph’s great-grandnephew McKenzie Fleurimond, a city commissioner in North Miami Beach, said he’s looking forward to helping Joseph cast her first vote in the upcoming election.
"Looking very forward to that, to bringing her to the polls for the first time," Fleurimond said.
Ogé reveals that longevity runs in the family— and it’s what helps keep Joseph motivated to continue enjoying her long life.
"So she just wants to thank God that her grandfather lived to be 110 years old. That's what she's contributing her age to,” Ogé told the local news station.
Joseph’s family couldn’t be more proud of her accomplishments. Fleurimond said that she continues to be an inspiration in their household that it’s never too late to chase your dreams.
“She’s a matriarch, so she's definitely setting an example that no matter how old you are, you can still accomplish your goals, your dreams, your vision,” Fleurimond said of his great-grandaunt.
“She's really given us a burst of energy and a burst of fresh air so that we can put our minds to our goals and definitely achieve them. So this is a great thing."
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