Harrisburg – April 19, 2018 – To a standing ovation in Senate Chambers, Senator Vincent J. Hughes congratulated a legislative staffer who recently completed her nine-year journey to becoming a United States citizen.

Before Lynette Carter, 26, took the oath of citizenship Thursday, Senator Hughes honored her accomplishment Tuesday afternoon in front of the state Senate. He applauded the efforts of the Harare, Zimbabwe native who came to this country on a Division II field hockey scholarship at Seton Hill University in Greensburg.


“I wanted to take a moment to congratulate a young woman in my office on an incredible accomplishment,” Senator Hughes said Tuesday. “Knowing where she has come from and the hardships she has overcome to be here today, I am honored to announce that Lynette will officially become a citizen of the United States this Thursday.”

Carter later transferred to Messiah College and worked her way through college, holding multiple jobs each semester. She discovered her love for drafting legislation and politics in her final semester of college while interning with the House of Representatives. Carter later graduated from Messiah College with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology.

Two days after graduation, Carter accepted a position as a research analyst with the House Human Services Committee. There, Carter helped draft House Bill 1654, which expanded disorder health screenings for newborns. Carter then worked for the Office of the Democratic Whip before joining Senator Hughes’ office.

Senator Hughes praised Carter’s involvement in the political process, inside and outside of the capitol building. He noted that her efforts and contributions, intellectually and economically, embody the values we cherish in this country.

Carter continues to push herself and now is working to earn a law degree from Widener University Commonwealth, where she takes evening classes while working full time. Pointing to the emotional and financial costs of becoming a citizen, Carter said she was relieved to have completed the citizenship process and is looking forward continuing to pursue her dreams as an American.