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Trumbull News Detail

Kent State Student Becomes an American Citizen

Posted Mar. 6, 2013

By Monique Zappa

Kent State Student Becomes American CitizenKent State University attracts students from all over the world, but one student decided to make his life here official. Andrés Solano officially became an American citizen last month.

Solano, who goes by Dre, was born in Ecuador but moved to Chile at a very young age. In 2001, Solano and his mother came to the United States to start a better life. According to Solano, education in Chile is very expensive; most people cannot afford it. Therefore, coming to America allowed him and his mother to study and improve their lives.

“It came down to better opportunity,” says Solano. “Over here there are a lot more opportunities to succeed and progress your life.”

The decision to become an American citizen did not happen overnight. He received his green card six years ago, but said as a young kid, he didn’t really understand what becoming a citizen would do and mean for him.

“I haven’t been held back too much, but there were certain limitations to not being a United States citizen, like voting,” says Solano. “This was the last step.”

As a junior managerial marketing major at Kent State University, Solano hopes to pursue a career in international marketing because he loves to travel.

“I feel like I can just pick up and go because it’s second nature to me,” says Solano. “It would also allow me to see my family from time to time.”

Solano continues to pursue his marketing dream, but he comes from a long line of journalists. His grandfather, who also came to America, was a diplomat for the Chilean Embassy until Dictator Augusto Pinochet took over. Once arriving in the states, he became the director of Newsweek in Spanish in Miami, Fla. Now, he works for Inter American Press Association. Solano’s father, who’s worked for the Associated Press in Ecuador for nearly 20 years, is now the AP’s director there.

“Journalism is definitely something that interests me,” says Solano. “But, I know how demanding it is because of my family. I didn’t see it matching up with my strengths like business does.”

Solano keeps in touch with his journalism roots by working in student media’s business office.

“I really enjoy coming to work every day,” comments Solano. “I love the people I work with and the cohesiveness of our team.”

Solano’s happiest moment in becoming an American citizen was reflecting on the journey with his mom.

“The journey is what really made me the happiest,” expresses Solano. “It’s the feeling that we’re here. We did it.”