By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Nearly one hundred men and women officially became citizens of the United States of America today in a ceremony at Northeast High School.

If America is a melting pot, the auditorium inside Northeast High School was a cauldron: the roll call of countries numbered nearly 50.

Most of the candidates live in Northeast Philadelphia; some were able to walk to the naturalization ceremony.

And two of them simply had to walk over from their classrooms: an 18-year-old senior from Brazil, and longtime art teacher José Sebourne, a native of Costa Rica.

“It feels great — finally!” Sebourne said afterward.

Sebourne (second from left in photo) arrived in the US at the age of ten with his six brothers and sisters, all of whom are now US citizens.  He was the last in his family to take the plunge.

“My mother was happy — she was just overcome because she has seen me grow. She worked to really get me to this point,” he told KYW Newsradio, his voice choking with emotion.


Watch & Listen LIVE