A teacher of toddlers at the F.M. Kirby Children’s Center of the Madison Area YMCA, Soony Jo is now a U.S. Citizen. Although a well-loved member of the Kirby Center, she was taken by surprise when her colleagues celebrated her U.S. citizenship with a party that included a homemade American flag cake adorned with strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream depicting the flag’s stars and stripes. She is truly grateful for the community that she considers family at the Kirby Center.
“As a foreigner, it was not easy. The Kirby Center raised me up,” says Soony. “They brought me in, gave me community and included me as family. The staff and families helped me so much. I was able to find stability.”
The Center also embraced her two sons, now grown, who attended the Kirby Center for after care and summer camp. “I learned how to raise my children and maintain an American life for us. Kirby also gave my sons the right grounding and prepared them for school and life,” she says.
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