Silicon Valley Community Foundation grantees hosted two free Citizenship Days in April, helping 325 immigrants with their citizenship application process.
Fee waivers, which assist low income individuals and families who cannot afford application fees, were processed for 233 applications, totaling more than $200,000 in savings to the immigrant community.
Orientation sessions explaining the process to become a U.S. citizen were held in more than 10 languages. Legal consultation, application assistance, and study materials were also provided. More than 260 volunteers, including several SVCF donors and staff, assisted with planning and running of the Citizenship Day events.
Linda Nguyen, a SVCF staff member who volunteered at Citizenship Day, shared a story of discovering shared local experiences through the event; "One gentleman I assisted was just two years younger than me, and brought his young son with him. His son had broken his arm recently, playing on the monkey bars at school and was excited to show me his cast. He was also excited to help his father answer questions on the application. While filling out the job history section, we discovered that the gentleman actually works in my neighborhood and that we probably cross paths quite often."
Silicon Valley Citizenship Days are organized in partnership with the Santa Clara County Office of Immigrant Relations, Asian Law Alliance, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, San Jose City College, the Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN), the Center for Employment Training, and the City of San Jose.