LC Coach Applies for Citizenship

LC Coach Applies for Citizenship

Story Courtesy of Rachad Davis, The Critograph

Simon Nyang, who has replaced Adam Lang as the head coach of the women's cross country team at Lynchburg College, has gone through the U.S. Immigration process and is currently waiting to receive his U.S. citizenship.

After passing the English and civics tests, Nyang said he is currently waiting to be contacted by the American Immigration Center for a date and time to take the Oath of Allegiance, the last step of the process.

"If USCIS approves your application for naturalization, you must attend a ceremony and take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States. USCIS will notify you by mail of the time and date of your ceremony," according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

During the civics portion of the process a USCIS officer asks the interviewee a series of questions, a step that many have problems with.

The interviewee needs only answer six out of the 10 questions correctly to pass the test, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

The Center for the Study of the American Dream at Xavier University did a telephoned survey of 1,023 native-born Americans this past March. The purpose of the study was to see how many Americans could actually pass the exam, according to an article on

"But only 65% of native-born Americans could get the required six out of 10 right answers when asked the same questions in a telephone poll," according to the article.

Nyang said he admits that he had a hard time with one of the questions asked.

"On question number two I just blanked out. What date was the American Independence? My mind just blacked out," Nyang said.

Nyang said he is a graduate assistant working towards his Master's in Business Administration. On top of coaching and being a student, Nyang still awaits his U.S. citizenship.

Nyang said he hopes his citizenship will make his life here in the U.S. simpler, especially when he plans to visit his homeland.

"If I ever go back to my country it wouldn't be permanently. Having my citizenship makes things easier. I've lived here now; I'm not planning on leaving here anytime soon. There are more opportunities here," Nyang said.

Nyang said he is originally from the Republic of South Sudan, a country located in East-Central Africa that became an independent state on July 9 of this past year.

"To become your own country you have to be approved by other countries, the major powerhouse countries," Nyang said.

Before coming to LC, Nyang said he spent 12 years in the United States. His hometown in the U.S. is Grand Rapids, MI., where he has lived for most of his life. After graduating high school he received a full scholarship to Auburn University, where he competed for their cross country and track and field teams.

Nyang said that he eventually transferred after just two years because of recurring injuries as well as homesickness. Nyang ended up at Grand Valley State University, closer to home.

Now at LC Nyang said he hopes he can finish up his studies and then focus on coaching.

"Number one goal is to get my Masters' degree and see where coaching takes me. It's a learning process for me. I also would like to get the women to the top of division III," Nyang said.