YONKERS, N.Y. – Miss Westchester is now a United States citizen.
Yonkers resident Kristy Abreu, crowned Miss Westchester in September, took the oath of allegiance last week at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Manhattan.
The 18-year-old is now an American citizen, something she said she has wanted for a long time.
“It was part of being able to vote and being a part of things like jury duty and getting the full American experience,” she said. “I’ve lived here my whole life. I went to school here, and now I can really say I’m an American.”
Originally from the Dominican Republic, Abreu moved to the United States when she was 3 years old. Growing up on McLean Avenue in Yonkers, she graduated from Riverside High School in 2011 before enrolling at The College of Westchester, where she is now a freshman.
In September, she earned the title as Miss Westchester 2012 . But Abreu learned shortly afterward that to represent the county in this month’s Miss New York USA pageant, she would have to become an American citizen. And it had to be done by Jan. 11.
With the help of officials at the U.S. Citizenship office, Abreu was able to get her case expedited, and on Friday she was sworn in as an American citizen.
“I’m very excited,” she said. “It has all been a blessing.”
Now, Abreu will be able to take the stage at Purchase College, SUNY, on Jan. 20 to compete for the title of Miss New York. The winner there will represent the Empire State at the Miss USA pageant in June.
But Abreu is already getting some national attention. On Saturday she appeared in an episode of MTV’s “Made.” In the show, which transforms teens and young adults to help them reach their goals, Abreu appeared as a celebrity coach.
She was part of the team that helped Derek Frazier, son of boxing legend Joe Frazier, follow in his father’s footsteps and become a boxer.
“They wanted to add a little twist and the pageant touch,” Abreu said. “It was all very exciting.”