Derrick’s love for Italy started in 2004 when his first international trip took him to Italy to celebrate his Grandparents 50th wedding anniversary. Derrick and his grandparents had never seen the country from where both sets of their parents came from. He completely fell in love with the country of his paternal ancestors. So much so, that he then studied abroad for a semester during college. That wasn’t enough.
After he graduated college, Derrick then returned to earn his TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate and teach English to the Italian Carabinieri. It was at that time that he first learned about obtaining his Italian citizenship. He sat at an internet café with one of his students in Italy, researching Italian law, only to be devastated to find out that he did not qualify because both of his paternal great grandfathers had naturalized before the birth of his grandmother and grandfather respectively. His great grandmothers had not naturalized, but at the time, Italian law forbade Italian women from passing down their citizenship to their children.
Fast forward to 2019, after a recent trip to Italy, Derrick started researching again about the possibility of obtaining Italian citizenship and stumbled upon a judicial route, known as the “1948 case”. He found out that he did in fact qualify through a judicial route through his paternal great grandmother. He retained an Italian lawyer and after the case went before an Italian judge in Rome in 2021, Derrick’s dream of being recognized in came full circle in connecting him with his ancestors. All in all, he has been lucky enough to have lived 2+ years of his life in Italy and is planning on buying property there in the future.
Derrick’s passion is to help others reconnect with their family history and help them along the way as they seek their dual citizenship. Derrick is a member of the National Italian American Foundation.