FROM GHANA TO GLASSBORO:
GLASSBORO, NJ – This year, Rowan track & field athlete Vincent Delle voted in his first Presidential Election now that he is a U.S. citizen. Delle arrived in the United States eight years ago from Ghana to begin his journey to citizenship and the American dream.
A senior, Delle had moved around when he lived in Ghana. While his family originally resided in the small village of Wa in the Upper West region of Ghana, they later moved to the Greater Accra region and was there for several years.
“It’s a lot different. Like, different regions in Ghana have different cultures and ways of living,” says Delle. “Where I’m from, the Upper West region, it’s like a village basically. There’s a lot of farming, a lot of farmers that lived there. The roads aren’t that well-built, but in the city, they have roads and everything and everything’s more, like, progressive.”
For his family, a desire for a better life was the reason for their move to the United States. When his father died in a robbery gone wrong, it inspired Delle’s mother to move to America in 2000 alone. Then in 2012, Delle was able to be with his mother in the United States. “I was very excited,” says Delle. “I was coming to see my mom and then I was going to the most famous [country], the United States.”
When he arrived in the United States, Delle and his family lived in Old Bridge, NJ, until he left home to attend Rowan. During that time, Delle had been at work applying to become a United States citizen. According to the government's website, there are numerous requirements to accomplish to be a citizen, including being proficient in the English language and civics as well as having lived in the United States for at least five years.
For Delle, the process was not that difficult for him, especially with the civics test, due to his educational background in the United States. “It wasn’t that hard because if you do high school in the United States, the exam is basically what you did in high school,” says Delle. “If you didn’t have a high school background here, then it’s going to be a little challenging because everything is new and unfamiliar.” Delle attended Old Bridge High School in Matawan, NJ, and graduated in 2017.
On March 26, 2018, Delle was sworn in as a United States citizen in Mount Laurel, NJ, with his mother, step-father and brothers there to support him. To this day, Delle still remembers the excitement he felt during his Swearing-In Ceremony. It’s like you’re a little kid and then you wake up and it’s your birthday and you see the cake. And it’s that feeling you get like “Oh! It’s my birthday,” says Delle. “Seeing the certificate, I was like, Wow! I’m an actual citizen now.”.
At Rowan, Delle qualified for the 2020 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships on the distance medley relay and received All-America honors. He was named to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Atlantic Region Team. At the 2020 New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Indoor Championships, Delle came in third (1:06.92) in the 500 meters and earned All-Conference honorable mention. He was a member of the 4x400 meter relay that came in 11th (3:15.81) at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships. At the conference championships, he ran on the winning 4x400 meter relay (3:23.55) and was selected to the NJAC first team. In 2019, Delle collected USTFCCCA All-Region and All-Academic honors.
In addition, Delle has excelled in the classroom. A Rowan Scholar-Athlete of Distinction, he was inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma National College Honor Society and received NJAC All-Academic honorable mention. He was named to the 2020 USTFCCCA All-Academic Team.
Delle plans to work in software development or information security once he graduates with his bachelor’s degree in Computing & Informatics. In fact, he’s even thought about starting his own software development company because of his extensive background in coding.
Ultimately, among all of his great accomplishments, Delle still fondly looks back on the moment he became a United States citizen as he continues on his path towards the American dream. “Being sworn in is the most rewarding,” says Delle. “There’s nothing to it.”