Joy Hepkins was featured in USCIS’ lunch and learn celebrating citizenship during citizenship week. Gaston Araoz-Riveros of Senator Kaine’s office and Tiffany Bradbury of the City of Roanoke were in attendance. Joy spoke about her path to the United States and becoming a US citizen. She hails from Johannesburg, South Africa and described fleeing governmental oppression during apartheid. She described her upbringing and what it was like living in a country where she could not vote, could not go to certain schools and could not live in certain neighborhoods because of the color of her skin. Due to a shortage of nurses at Temple University, Joy was accepted and looked forward to living in a democratic and free country. She described the US as a beacon of hope. She met Rohan Hepkins, a naturalized citizen from Jamaica, and he soon became her husband. They still live in the suburbs of Philly and she believe the US is the greatest country on earth. The moment most dear to her was when she was able to vote for the very first time here in the US. She is proud to call herself and citizen of the US of America.

For a quick look at see WSET Channel 13: https://wset.com/news/local/city-of-roanoke-partners-with-united-states-immigration-services-for-citizenship-week