Nelson County family obtains US citizenship after 16 years

Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 5:01 PM EDT
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NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - The July sun sits high above Double H Farm in Nelson County.

It’s where the Avagyan family has been doing their work for years.

“This is the best I feel. We’re done. We just feel safe,” said Ara Avagyan.

After 16 years of waiting, this Armenian family has finally obtained U.S. citizenship.

It’s a long road they’ve ventured on, but they say the community has supported them all the way to this point.

“They know it was important and they were just so happy for us,” said Gayane Avagyan.

That road hasn’t come without its challenges, however.

English isn’t their first language and more recently the coronavirus pandemic added another obstacle.

Jesse Rutherford says as the pandemic lingers, it’s important to continue supporting them.

“The Avagyans have been such a critical fabric here in Nelson County,” said Rutherford, Nelson County Board of Supervisors east district representative. “They show us what it’s like to be going from immigrant status to now becoming a citizen to owning your own farm. They’re the epitome of what it is to be the American dream.”

Now with citizenship achieved, they say they feel more ingrained here.

Ludi Avagyan says it gives her the opportunity to be more involved in what goes on around her.

“It’s important for me to be able to vote, be able to do something and not just be complacent, so I finally have that opportunity with being a citizen. It’s one of the most important things,” said Avagyan.

And as for the future, they plan to keep providing for their community as long as possible.

“Food is very important for people and for us too, and it’s a good thing,” said Ara Avagyan. “I think we’re gonna keep going.”

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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