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STORY  IIBA Volunteer: Rie Sugisawa

As a naturalized citizen, Rie Sugisawa wanted to use her knowledge of the naturalization process to help others. So Rie volunteers every week at IIBA’s Napa office, administering “mock” interviews to IIBA clients, preparing them for their citizenship interview.      “This is part of my routine life now,...

STORY  Volunteer: Betty Labastida

I am amazed at the dedication people show to complete the paperwork , and their  motivation to learn a language which is not easy.   I started volunteering with the International Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA) over three years ago. I attended IIBA’s orientation and began helping individuals complete...

Ariana Hoyt portrait
STORY  Volunteer: Ariana Hoyt

Ariana Hoyt first began to work with the immigrant community while attending Stanford. “In college, I worked for a tutoring program for Stanford janitors. It opened my eyes to see the janitor I worked with go through so much, yet still make an effort to improve his English.” This...

Olga Hurtado portrait
STORY  Client & Volunteer: Olga Hurtado

Though she spent long hours tending the fields in Napa and raising her four children, when Olga Hurtado found herself with a rare spare moment, she indulged her passion for politics, particularly local and national elections. “I enjoyed reading up on each candidate and reviewing their political views. I...

STORY  Volunteer: James Phelps

When high school student James Phelps began volunteering at IIBA, he knew his work would help others, but he had no idea the impact that volunteering would have on his own worldview.   “Before I started volunteering at IIBA, I was unaware that so many immigrants from all over...

Anel Rojas
STORY  Client & Volunteer: Anel Rojas

Anel Rojas has a bright future ahead of her after receiving DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Anel will be the first member of her family to graduate from college, with a degree in criminology, and plans on attending law school. This is a far cry from the struggles...

STORY  IIBA Volunteers: Robert and Rachel

When park rangers Robert and Rachel are not protecting America’s National Parks, they are volunteer teachers at IIBA’s citizenship preparation class in San Francisco. “My wife Rachel had signed up to volunteer at IIBA and asked me to accompany her, as I had prior experience working with citizenship students....

STORY  IIBA Volunteer: Melissa

  “Working with U-Visa clients makes me feel like a better person and I know I am working to improve lives, which is pretty awesome.” Melissa and her husband moved to the Bay Area from Georgia a year ago, and she was looking for volunteer opportunities at a non-profit....

STORY  Volunteer Monica Devens

“I like to imagine a law firm where I could pick clients who cook, and I could get paid in all that fabulous food,” jokes Volunteer Attorney Monica Devens. In her years as an immigration attorney, Monica has assisted clients from more than fifty-five countries. “That’s a lot of...

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