In 2007, Annmarie Small and her son emigrated from Jamaica to Tallahassee, Florida in hopes of creating a better life.
After settling in Florida she began teaching at Cornerstone Learning Academy, a community that not only embraced her professionally but also became her support system. The teachers and students even greeted her at the airport when she first arrived.
Last week, Annmarie was finally able to earn her US citizenship and she did so surrounded by the people who had supported her since day one.
"I use the term 'bag of emotions' because that’s exactly what it was," Small told WFTS about the heartwarming event. "When everything was quiet after the ceremony and I went home, I cried, and it was tears of joy."
"I'm so happy the process is over now because it's been a long process," she added. "And there were tears of joy because I've had the support of Cornerstone since day one."