FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – More than 40 young people are celebrating after they were sworn in as new U.S. citizens at the Fresno Art Museum.

A day of pride and patriotism for 40 new, young U.S. citizens spanning from the age of 10 to 21.

For new American citizen 17-year-old Leen Alzaydi, it is a special day for her and her family after they fled from Iraq during the civil war when she was just four years old.

“Growing up here this is what I call home, this is all I know is home,” said Leen.

Leen is a senior at Clovis East high school, and she looks forward to participating in the next election.

“To be given the opportunity to vote and have my voice heard is huge, especially in today’s society,” said Leen.

For her mother Dalya Hussein, watching her daughter become a U.S. citizen is more important than her upcoming high school graduation.

“Today is the most important. Being an American citizen is a lot of pride to feel and live.”

Hussein says helping her daughter become a citizen wasn’t easy.

“The USCIS at the time didn’t access the proof that she is our daughter.”

Hussein had to apply several times for her daughter to become a citizen, but she says it was worth it.

“We made it. I didn’t give up so it was my second round applying for my daughter,” said Hussein.

If you or someone you know is trying to apply to become an American citizen, you can visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.