Leska left Ukraine at a young age, learning to navigate hardship in an unfamiliar place before finding home and community in the Bay Area. After achieving her dream of becoming a U.S. citizen, Leska now hopes to coach and inspire others with the invaluable lessons from her own journey.
Before they met in 2015, Eric and Patricia each had complicated relationships with the U.S. immigration system. After falling in love and getting married, the couple would again have to navigate the complex system to prove their love to immigration officials.
“IIBA staff always kept me updated on the status of my case and made me feel secure,” says Amelia Hernandez. She appreciates that sense of security more than ever after her nightmarish journey to the U.S.
We first introduced you to Moises in the winter of 2013. An ambitious and enthusiastic college student, Moises had come to the U.S. as a teenager to escape the growing dangers in his hometown in Mexico. While Moises was taking classes at Cañada Community College, IIBA helped him apply for U- Visa status.
Maria arrived at IIBA’s citizenship preparation class last Tuesday just as she had done every week for the past six months. But this Tuesday was different since Maria was there to inform her fellow classmates and IIBA staff that she had just passed her citizenship interview and was now a U.S. Citizen.
Through her accomplishment, Maria not only has earned full access to all the benefits of citizenship for herself, but she has also paved the way for her son. “Now that I have my citizenship, my son is eligible to become a U.S. citizen.” Asked what she would tell someone in need of immigration services, Maria says, “I would fully endorse IIBA to anyone in need of support and help to make their dreams come true.”
“I always wanted to make my mother proud,” says IIBA client Antonio Rojas. This desire became his guiding principal when Antonio left his home in Mexico, a twelve-year-old setting out on his own, seeking a better life in the United States.
When you meet Xenia Martinez, a former IIBA client and current employee, it doesn’t take long to notice there’s something special about her--not just the warmth of her smile or her quick laughter, but her innate ability to inspire hope in people. “Everything is like a seed,” she says. “You just have to pour water on it to let it grow.”