Kim Duby couldn’t believe the emotions she felt when she filled out her ballot this election season. The 34-year-old single mom was finally able to exercise her right to vote as a new United States citizen and her ‘I voted’ sticker serves as a symbol of the difficult journey it took to get her here.
Duby received her green card in 2016 and left her family in Vietnam to get married in the U.S. Unfortunately, her husband passed away two short years later. She was left to care for their baby son on her own and plan for a future for the two of them.
Living at Warren Village in Denver, CO, a transitional housing program for single moms, she navigated the often confusing journey to U.S. citizenship. Once she finally passed the test and received her citizenship certificate, it was almost surreal. The reality – and hope – didn’t sink in until she turned in her ballot.
“I believe that voting means that citizens have power and that is very meaningful to me,” said Duby. “In Vietnam, we have a very different government, you don't have a voice.”
Duby continues to plan for the future as she studies to obtain her Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in IT Management through Western Governors University (WGU) (WGU).
“I am so grateful for WGU. It is so affordable and flexible. I can work and study and still care for my son,” said Duby. “My WGU mentor and teachers are available and very patient. I sometimes doubt myself, but they lift me up and encourage me.”
For single moms like Duby, online education provides a flexible way to continue education and seek advanced careers without disrupting the family’s schedule.
Through citizenship and advancing her career with education, Duby is well on her way to achieving her American Dream.