Eder Arambaru is about to take the test to become an American citizen, one of the most important tests of his life. During the day, he works for El Concilio, a nonprofit organization that helps community members. At every opportunity, the Spanish national is immersed in U.S. culture, history and politics.
“I’m already ready to take the exam, OK, I’ve been studying,” said Arambaru, a Stanislaus County resident.
Arambaru said he could have applied for citizenship a year ago, but this year’s presidential election was the push he needed to make it official. The reason? He wants to vote in November.
“I think right now is the time to raise my voice, OK, because I like to be involved,” he explained.
He’s not alone.
The Stanislaus County clerk recorder told FOX40 in the last three months they’ve seen four times as many people register to vote, compared to the same time last year.
It's a trend that El Concilio’s Site Director Yamilet Valladolid said has also taken place in their citizenship civic classes.
"That’s doubled! We have about 70 students because we had to open a second class now,” Valladolid said.
She added that she’s never seen an uptick quite like this, not even when Barack Obama ran for president.
While Arambaru’s test is still months away, he’s ready to ace it. Ready for his first civic duty as an American.
“I’m going to be able to be more involved in the community because I can be like an example,” he said.
Valladolid added she believes the rise in U.S. citizenship applications may be a trend we see on a national level.