By Natasha Ishak, Profiles in Social Action

Like most Americans, a typical day for Gerson Da Cruz, 27, starts with an early morning commute to work, followed by a run to school to pick up the kids, errands and chores around the house and culminates around the dinner table with family. Unlike some Americans, however, Da Cruz was not born in the U.S.


Da Cruz at home with his 2-year-old nephew Marvin. Unlike his uncle, Marvin was born in the U.S. Photo by Natasha Ishak.

Da Cruz moved to the U.S., more than 3,000 miles away from his African homeland of Cape Verde, when he was 15. His father married a U.S. native, so he was able to receive his American citizenship by naturalization through his father. The then-teenager not only went through a huge cultural adjustment but also had to overcome a language barrier.

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