News Release

For media information, contact:
Zaundra Brown
Director of Public Relations and Information
404.297.9522, ext. 1757


GPTC Recognizes New U.S. Citizens During 14th Annual Citizenship Celebration

DeKalb County - September 18, 2017

On September 14, 2017, Georgia Piedmont Technical College hosted its 14th annual Constitution Day and U.S. Citizenship Celebration on its DeKalb Campus in partnership with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  Fifty candidates for citizenship participated in a naturalization ceremony in recognition of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.  The program was conducted by Mr. Kevin Riddle, director, Atlanta Field Office, Department of Homeland Security, USCIS.           

Dr. Jabari Simama, president of Georgia Piedmont Technical College, began the ceremony by offering remarks.  “Georgia Piedmont has one of the largest programs in our technical college system that addresses the needs of, and provides support for, the immigrant and refugee populations,” stated Dr. Simama.  “Last year, more than 1,600 students enrolled in our free English language classes.  Students who attend our college speak more than 80 languages and come from nearly 100 countries,” he continued. 

“It’s been a long road for many of you --- but you’re about to become U.S. citizens,” Kevin Riddle, director, Atlanta Field Office, Department of Homeland Security, U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, told the candidates.  “You will share the same rights and responsibilities as other Americans,” he stated.  “We’re holding this ceremony during Constitution Week, so I encourage you to reflect on the rights and freedoms that you will enjoy, as well as the ideals that are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution,” Riddle concluded.  

Ms. Toni Head, supervisory immigration services officer with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, facilitated the program. Riddle administered the oath.  During his speech, Riddle indicated all candidates had been interviewed and were found to exhibit good moral character.  He also declared that all candidates met the requirements to become U.S. citizens.

Mr. Kamel Kahla, who currently resides in Marietta, but is originally from Jordan, said, “I am really happy about becoming a U.S. citizen.  I am appreciative to the U.S. Government for allowing me to become a citizen of this lovely country.”

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About Georgia Piedmont Technical College
Established in 1961, Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) is one of the top technical colleges in Georgia. As a student-centered institution, GPTC prepares individuals with the skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing, global economy. In August 2016, Georgia Piedmont was ranked among the top ten technical colleges in terms of enrollment by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. GPTC’s graduation rate is more than 74.3 percent, and its graduates secure employment at a level resulting in a 98.7 percent placement rate. With nearly 4,000 students, Georgia Piedmont’s adult education program is among the largest in the state. The college has 12 learning centers in DeKalb, Newton, Rockdale and Morgan counties. As set forth in its student catalog, Georgia Piedmont Technical College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, sex, religion, disability, age, political affiliation or belief, genetic information, veteran status, or citizenship status (except in those special circumstances permitted or mandated by law). Contact Lisa Peters, the ADA Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext. 1154, or at the main DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-170; or Dr. Debra Gordon, the Title IX Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext. 1176, or at the main DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-103 for assistance. For more information about our graduation rates and other important program information, please visit our website at

A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.