Hopkins, SC (WLTX) - Eighteen people in the Midlands will be celebrating their first Forth of July as citizens on Tuesday.

Monday morning, folks from fifteen different countries took oath to become citizens of the United States.

One of those people who was originally from Ecudaor is Grecia Garcia.

"I got emotional. Never before in my mind did I ever think I'd become a United States Citizen or be a part of this country," said Garcia.

The journey for these folks started in different places but they came together at Congaree National Park to make their citizenship official.

Garcia came to the land of opportunity to prepare a better future for her kids. She plans on getting her career started as a chef.

"That was something that I wasn't interested in at all before but I have the chance to become that here so that was more of the important things and I'm really glad that I'm here now," said Garcia.

An officer with the Immigration Services, Annmarie Jordan-Starks, believes there no reason these folks can't go after what their heart desires.

"Determine what that dream is, what that goal is, what independence means for them and go out there and pursue it so that they can actually fulfill lives and fulfill time on this year," said Jordan-Starks.

With the country giving Garcia her freedom, she just wants to pay it forward.

"I always wanted to go into the military. I have that feeling also that I owe this country something so I will always have to pay back for that," said Garcia.

As for now, Garcia plans on opening a business in the future as a pastry chef.

One of the requirement of becoming a United States citizen is by being a lawful resident for five years.