GREEN BAY - It was an extra special day for an area school custodian on Friday.
After a decade of hard work Jorge Ruiz of Danz Elementary in Green Bay, can finally wear red, white and blue proudly.
Friday morning, the school celebrated his journey.
For the past three years, Ruiz has worked the halls and classrooms of Danz Elementary.
But he had a little extra spring in his step on Friday, since it was his first day as a U.S. citizen.
"Now I feel like I belong, like I'm part of society now," Ruiz said.
Jorge moved to Green Bay from Brazil in 2000.
He has since married and has three children. At first he says, it was quite the transition.
"I remember the first day I got here, was the last snow we had that year, it was April 10th of 2000," Jorge explained. "Never seen snow before in my life, I loved it. Now, not so much sometimes."
But for the past decade, he's worked hard for the day to officially call America his home.
And that day came Thursday in a courthouse in Milwaukee.
"I'm just glad everything is done. Now I can go out and celebrate. I'll be able to vote," Jorge said. "This year is going to be my first time voting, so I'm pretty excited about that."
Fellow co-workers and students celebrated his journey Friday morning.
Staff members say they couldn't be happier for him.
"Our school is open very late everyday because we have a lot of functions at night, so it's wonderful to have somebody that is responsible and hardworking and wants to do what is best for the families and students," explained Danz Principal Georgina Cornu.
Once he gets his passport, Jorge plans to take his wife and kids to his home country of Brazil.
Until then, he plans to continue his work at the school.
As for long-term plans, Jorge says that's simple.
"Live the dream like they say, so just keep working and keep looking for a better future," he said.
Jorge speaks three different languages.
And since moving to Green Bay, he says he's become a die-hard Packers fan.
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