Veronica Serrato joined Project Citizenship in 2014 as its first Executive Director. [email protected]
Veronica’s interest in citizenship stems from the fact that she is the daughter of Mexican immigrants who became naturalized citizens. Veronica’s legal experience has focused on family law while at the WilmerHale Legal Services Center in Jamaica Plain, Casa Myrna Vasquez and Volunteer Lawyers Project. Veronica also has experience as a prosecutor, hearing officer for the Department of Children and Families and as a Lecturer at Boston University School of Law in the Legal Research and Writing Program. Veronica graduated from Harvard University and Boston University School of Law.
Director of Programs and Operations
Melanie joined Project Citizenship in 2015. She is the Director of Programs and Operations and a DOJ Accredited Representative at Project Citizenship. She manages citizenship workshops, immigrant outreach, grants to community partners, and finance. As the daughter of a naturalized citizen, her interest in immigration and citizenship has shaped her studies and career. Melanie graduated from Boston University with a degree in International Relations, and then spent some time working abroad in Latin America. Prior to her position at Project Citizenship, she worked as a Site Manager at Chelsea Community Schools, providing ESOL, arts and recreation courses for families of the Chelsea community. She currently serves on the Commission for Immigrant Rights and Citizenship for the City of Cambridge. [email protected]
Vic joined Project Citizenship in 2018 as Director of Development. Vic comes with significant experience in business development having worked in several human services organizations in Greater Boston helping people experiencing homelessness, in substance disorder treatment, and in mental health recovery. As the founding Program Director and then Executive Director for Back on My Feet Boston, an organization that helps homeless transition out of shelters, his work has been recognized through receipt of the Wainwright Foundation Award. He is also the founder of New England’s first and only marathon based program for at-risk high school students, Dreamfar High School Marathon. Vic who was born in Bogota Colombia is himself a naturalized citizen and has seen the common challenges and benefits of attaining citizenship across all the segments of people he has served. [email protected]
Stephen joined Project Citizenship as Staff Attorney in 2018. Stephen comes to Project Citizenship having specialized in immigration and nationality law, with over five years of service in private practice. He has extensive experience representing detained and non-detained immigrants undergoing removal proceedings and in family-based petitions in both New England and greater New York City. Stephen’s primary role at Project Citizenship is to confront the wide-range of legal issues that arise for naturalization applicants and work collaboratively with community-based partners to provide legal support and up-to-date information to the immigrant communities of New England. Stephen earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School. He is licensed in both Massachusetts and New York and is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). [email protected]
Peter joined Project Citizenship as an NAIP AmeriCorps member in September 2016. Since August 2017, he has served as Citizenship Coordinator. His responsibilities include conducting outreach in Boston’s immigrant communities, organizing citizenship workshops, representing clients at naturalization interviews, and coordinating pro bono opportunities for volunteer attorneys, He holds a degree in history from Boston College, where he was a resident of a Spanish-language dormitory. Peter has studied in the Middle East and in Latin America.
Molly joined Project Citizenship in 2018 as the Outreach Coordinator. Prior to coming to Project Citizenship, Molly had studied and worked in Morocco on-and-off since 2011, completing a Fulbright scholarship there from 2013-2014. She also completed her Master’s degree in Migration and Diaspora Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, in the UK. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Northwestern University in 2013. Molly comes to Project Citizenship with a background in migration research and a strong interest in putting that knowledge to work to make a tangible impact on immigrants’ lives. Molly wholeheartedly believes that immigrants are integral to the cultural and economic fabric of U.S. society. [email protected]
Irena Ballaty Sinclair
AmeriCorps Citizenship Attorney
Irena Ballaty Sinclair joined Project Citizenship as an AmeriCorps Legal Advocate in September, 2018. Having come to the United States as refugee from Czechoslovakia, Irena has always had a strong interest in assisting other immigrants. She participated in the US Department of Justice Honors program as a clerk at Boston’s Immigration Court, worked as a Staff Attorney at the Board of Immigration Appeals and served as a Legal Protection Officer for UNHCR. Irena is thrilled to once again work with immigrants as they seek to become full members of the community by becoming citizens of the United States. Irena is a graduate of Western Connecticut State University and California Western School of Law. She is admitted to practice law in California. [email protected]
Bridget Feldmann joined Project Citizenship as an NAIP Americorps Fellow in September, 2018. The fellows support the Program Coordinators and Director with running the day to day operations of the office, organizing citizenship workshops, and engaging the eligible immigrant population through citizenship outreach. Bridget graduated from Bates College with a degree in Sociology in 2016, having completed a thesis on human rights and political memory in Chile. After working as an ESL teacher in Spain for a year, she joined the Inter-American Commission of Women of the Organization of American States, working on international women’s rights legislation and Inter-American diplomacy. As the granddaughter of Irish, Jewish and Cuban immigrants, she comes to Project Citizenship out of a desire to support and celebrate immigrants in the naturalization process. [email protected]
Belem Sanchez joined Project Citizenship as an NAIP AmeriCorps Fellow in 2018. In her role, she will focus on volunteer management and law firm workshop support. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Women and Gender Studies from the State University of New York at Geneseo. After college, she dove into women’s healthcare access working for a nonprofit focused on providing reproductive healthcare access in the south. She was motivated to begin her work in immigration due to the current political climate and her strong personal ties to immigrant communities. As a first generation American, she has always had a passion for immigrant rights. She plans to attend law school next fall to focus on immigration law and continue to serve immigrant communities. [email protected]
Dani recently joined Project Citizenship as an NAIP AmeriCorps fellow in 2018. Her primary responsibilities include client support, community workshops and outreach, and communications. She received a degree in Economics from Boston College, where she had the opportunity to study abroad in Madrid, Spain, as well as travel to the Mexico-Guatemala border to study human rights and migration in Latin America. Dani spent the past year working towards social justice in the Boston Public Schools system, building social-emotional skills and youth leadership in Jamaica Plain. As most of her family immigrated to the United States from Italy during her lifetime, Dani believes passionately that immigrants make our country better. [email protected]
Hussain Tariq joined Project Citizenship as a co-op student in 2018. He is currently a 2L at Northeastern University School of Law, with a strong interest in immigration law. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Xavier University. Hussain is a first generation American, whose parents became naturalized citizens after moving from Pakistan in order to give themselves and their children a better a life. Hussain’s desire to help immigrants stems simply from the fact that he believes everyone deserves the same opportunities that his parents received. [email protected]
Heather joined Project Citizenship in 2018 as a Development Intern. She is a senior at Emmanuel College studying Political Science and Sociology. This fall, Heather will be assisting with development and fundraising, as well as communications and social media for Citizenship Day. She has studied in Ireland and has interned with the Consulate General of Ireland. As an intern at Project Citizenship, she hopes to further develop her skills in human services and advocate for the rights of immigrants. [email protected]
Benjamin Kalombo joined Projected Citizenship in 2018 as a high school Intern. He is a sophomore attending Cristo Rey Boston and taking many classes while working here. Benjamin’s origins lay in Africa. Both of his parents come from Democratic Republic of Congo. That is why he values the help and opportunities given by Project Citizenship to immigrants. This year Benjamin will be helping with various administrative tasks and other duties to prepare for citizenship workshops and in office appointments.
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