Archives for September 2013

Volunteer Citizenship Team Training Sept 14

Join us on Saturday, September 14 and learn more about being a volunteer as a member of the Volunteer Citizenship Team.  One of our rewarding programs is to help any Legal Permanent Resident (i.e., “green card” holder) to naturalize (become a U.S. citizen).  We inform them of the process and how we can help; we process their paperwork–complete and review their applications–and forward it to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services.  Then we follow them through the process from fingerprinting to exam/interview to oath ceremony.  If an in-state client’s case qualifies under a grant program called the New Americans Initiative, we provide this assistance for only $10 per person because the grant funds the rest of the processing cost.

The Volunteer Citizenship Team is crucial to all phases of this process and works directly with clients (if desired) or does follow-up case management database work or helps with outreach efforts.  This team volunteers in our home office in Bloomington but serves clients all over downstate Illinois through phone, email, or Skype.  We ask for an average of two hours per week and are very flexible with your schedule (within the normal daytime work hours).  There are occasional Saturday opportunities.

We are aiming to have at least 12 committed persons –50% students and 50% community residents.  We also are looking for a language mix of about 60% only English speaking; about 30% bilingual English/Spanish, and about 10% bilingual English/French.  We will have an overview from 9-10 a.m.  If you decide this volunteer opportunity is a good fit for you, stick around for the 3-hour training (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.).  We will provide light refreshments!

Contact Volunteer Coordinator Christine Howe at or at 309.829.8703.


New U.S. Citizen in Sterling, IL

RutiliaI want to let you know why I decide to become a US citizen.

Two years ago, when I moved to Sterling, IL, I started to hear about places where I could get help to become a citizen. I decided to go to the Sauk Valley Community College to begin the process through the Immigration Project.

Lastly, on June 21, 2013 I became a citizen of the United States. I am very proud and happy for having obtained my citizenship after many years of wising to do it. The most important motive to become a citizen is that I can have more rights and responsibilities in this country. Some of the most important ones are for example to vote to elect the person to lead my country, to show my loyalty and to contribute to make this country better.


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