New American has new sense of belonging

Philippines native proud to tell story of her journey to Saukville after being sworn in as a U.S. citizen

JADE SCHWARTZ PROUDLY displayed her citizenship certificate with her sons — Sean, 10, and Seth, 6 — after her naturalization ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Milwaukee Federal Courthouse. Submitted photo
By 
DAN BENSON
Ozaukee Press Staff

Jade Schwartz, of Saukville, is thousands of miles from her home in the Philippines but has a sense of belonging that she has never had before.

Last week, Schwartz became a United States citizen at the Milwaukee Federal Courthouse along with 64 other people from 28 countries.

“I’m so proud now and I can’t wait for the next election so I can vote,” she said. “I get to do everything every American citizen can do.”

Schwartz will tell the story of her journey toward citizenship to students at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, at Ozaukee Christian School in Saukville.

Schwartz grew up in the Mindanao region of the Philippines.

She met her husband, Stephen, online and they began an online courtship, marrying in August 2006 during his first trip to the Philippines.

She was not able to come to the United States until 2010. When she arrived, they had three sons — Shem, 16, who attends Port Washington High School, and Shawn, 10, and Seth, 6, who both attend Ozaukee Christian School.

Being married, Schwartz was able to get a green card, which is good for 10 years and allows married immigrants to live legally in the United States. She would have had to renew that in 2020.

“But I don’t have to do that anymore now that I’m a citizen,” she said.

Schwartz is active in the community, she said, volunteering at her sons’ schools and being a member at Faith Baptist Church in the Town of Port Washington, through which she volunteers to sing and perform music at area nursing homes with her children, all of whom play various instruments.

Schwartz works at Costco in Grafton.

She said she communicates on an almost daily basis with her family in the Philippines through social media and on the phone.

“They have a Wisconsin phone number so I can call them any time I want to and through Facebook I can talk to them pretty much every day,” she said.

Schwartz said she is looking forward to the Fourth of July this year.

“I’m planning a big party to celebrate my citizenship,” she said.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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