BRYONY SCHWAN, born in Zimbabwe, came to the United States 10 years ago on a student visa and is now a permanent resident. For the last six she has worked at the Craighead Wildlife-Wildlands Institute in Montana. Minutes after being sworn in as a new citizen in Helena, Mont., she registered to vote:

"I was so appalled at the situation in South Africa; growing up there I was aware of politics at an early age. Coming to this country, I was amazed at the political freedom, the ability to speak out - that's why I wanted to become a US citizen. It's such a privilege! You can make a difference. Somehow we have to make people see that. One of the things that's really neat about Montana is that you can make a difference here [in the environmental movement]; you feel that you are somebody. I guess I do have some political ambitions, because I feel there's a lack of leadership, especially in the environmental arena and especially for women. I've been looking forward to this for 10 years!"

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.