2015 Interns

Kellie Shea

Kellie Shea Kellie joined Project Citizenship in 2015 as a legal intern. She grew up in Beverly, MA and attended the University of New Hampshire where she received her B.A. in Russian and International Affairs. Kellie is currently a second-year law student of Suffolk University Law School where she is concentrating in international and comparative law. She has studied in Slovakia and Russia and interned at the Immigrant Council of Ireland during the summer of 2015.





Aurelie Benucci


Aurelie joined Project Citizenship in fall 2015 as a volunteer. She received her LL.M in American Law from Boston University in 2015. As a French native navigating the American legal system, Aurelie developed an interest in immigration matters and in assisting others with their immigration process.





Kristin McAlpin

Kristin McAlpin

Kristin was a summer legal intern at Project Citizenship in 2015. She recently completed her first year at Boston College Law School and hopes to pursue a career in public interest law. As an undergraduate at Boston College, she majored in Political Science and International Studies and spent a semester in Barcelona, Spain learning Spanish. Her interest in Immigration law was sparked during her time working for a Congresswoman in her hometown of Miami, where many of the people she interacted with were recent immigrants. During her upcoming second year at BCLS, she will be president of the Human Rights Legal Society and a committee member on the Women’s Initiatives Council.

Elsa Lopez

Elsa Lopez

Elsa Lopez joined Project Citizenship as a summer legal intern in May 2015. She is a second year law student at Suffolk University Law School and is a receipient of the Suffolk Public Interest Law Group (SPILG) fellowship. As a daughter of a naturalized citizen, Elsa became interested in immigration rights to help others in the journey of becoming a U.S. citizen. She joined Project Citizenship in order to learn more about citizenship and the naturalization process. Elsa attended Florida International University where she received a BBA in Finance and a minor in Criminal Justice.

JW Pogue

JW Pogue

JW joined Project Citizenship in June 2015 as a Program Intern. He is currently a Junior at Boston College and will be majoring in Political Science.  After he graduates, he plans to pursue his Master’s degree.  His interest in immigration stems from his brother.  In 2004, his family adopted his brother from the Ukraine at 9 years old.  James and his brother grew up together and have been through both good and bad times.  Throughout all this time, JW has realized that even though there is no blood relation, his brother is and always will be his brother.  His brother’s struggle has motivated JW to help those going through the same hardship.  He wants to help give people the opportunity to create a home here in America.  That’s ultimately what Project Citizenship is trying to do, and he’s grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of it!

Allie Marcus

Allie Marcus

Allie is a third year undergraduate student at Boston University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Eventually, she hope to pursue a career in law. Her interest in immigration law and the naturalization process began when her stepmother decided to undergo the process herself. From helping her stepmother fill out the N-400 to quizzing her stepmother with civics questions on a nightly basis, Allie became fascinated by the complex process. After her stepmother’s oath ceremony, Allie saw the pride that her stepmother had on her face, making her want to delve deeper into her interest in the immigration field. That being said, when she came upon Project Citizenship, she felt that it was the perfect match her desire to become a lawyer and her fascination with the naturalization process.  Project Citizenship has already taught her so much about the multifaceted and intricate process of acquiring citizenship. Perhaps her favorite part of working here has been the gratitude and joy that comes from the people we help at our workshops and in the office. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the appreciation of your hard work on the faces of the people you help.


Michaela Cagle

michaelaMichaela joined Project Citizenship in January 2015. She is currently a senior at Boston College majoring in economics and history. With plans to continue on to law school next year, Michaela joined Project Citizenship in order to learn more about immigration law and the behind-the-scenes work of public interest organizations. She developed an interest in immigration and the naturalization process through relationships with immigrant families in her hometown and tutoring non-native English speakers in Boston.





Ayanna Duncan


Ayanna began interning at Project Citizenship in January 2015 as a Social Media Intern. She interned during her last semester at Newbury College and received a BA in Mass Communications in May 2015. She plans on furthering her education in pursuing a Master’s Degree. She will be the first daughter and granddaughter in her family to do so. What drew Ayanna to Project Citizenship was the idea of helping people. She has a mother who is African American and a father from Honduras. Both spend their days helping people, so naturally she felt she could do the same. As an Afro-Latina, this was an opportunity she used to understand her heritage; this was also as an opportunity for her to understand people and the various walks of life that they’re coming from. What she learned by interning was a lot more than what she even thought she knew about the naturalization process. She feels as though she now has a better understanding of just what people who were not born in the U.S. are going through. She understands the opportunities that this country has to offer, which is something that many of us might take for granted. Project Citizenship is an organization that helps make the naturalization process easier. In attending the workshops, she noticed many attendees leaving with looks of satisfaction on their faces. This was an opportunity she used to humble herself but most importantly to know how she could help make a difference.

Kate Bertino

Kate 2

Kate Bertino joined Project Citizenship in January 2015. She w a third year law student at Suffolk University Law School. Kate became interested in working with immigration and citizenship issues in college when she tutored Burmese refugee children in English and math in Cleveland, Ohio. She has previously worked for an immigration attorney in her second year of law school where she assisted with family and employment visas. She joined Project Citizenship to learn more about the citizenship and naturalization process. Kate attended Kent State University were she received a BA in International Relations and is from Akron, Ohio.


Boston College Law School Spring Break 2015

As part of BC Law’s pro bono program, students volunteer during spring break at non-profits in the Boston area. Learn more about the program here!

Meryl Breeden


Meryl spent her spring break in March 2015 doing pro bono work at Project Citizenship.  She is a 3L at Boston College Law School.  Before entering law school, she worked on divorce and immigration issues for victims of domestic violence.  She wanted to return to an organization that helped people through the often complex immigration world.



Yukiko Fujioka


Yukiko Fujioka joined Project Citizenship as a legal intern in March 2015. She is a LL.M. student at Boston College Law School. She has been focusing her studies on Family Law. Prior to moving to Boston, Yuki studied law and received J.D. at University of Tokyo and LL.B. at Keio University, Japan. She joined Project Citizenship to learn about immigration process and Public Interest work in the United States. Her dream is to provide legal support for the Japanese living in the U.S.



Boston University School of Law Spring Break 2015

Through the BU Law Pro Bono Program, law students spend a week at organizations in Boston and around the U.S. to help meet unmet legal needs.  Learn more here!

Effie Zhang

effieEffie Zhang is a second year law student at Boston University School of Law. Originally from Beijing, she came to the United States at age 16 on a student visa. Now a Legal Permanent Resident herself, she understands all the struggles, whether it is the language or the culture, that many immigrants are experiencing. Volunteering at Project Citizenship allows her to help people ease the process of becoming naturalized. Providing pro bono legal services to people who need it is a way for her to give back to my community where she was given so much help when she first arrived here. She feels very accomplished when using her knowledge and skills to help others.



Katherine Fahey

Katherine is a cum laude graduate of Emmanuel College and a Massachusetts native. She studied Political Science and Sociology with a focused study on immigration. She is currently in her first year at Boston University School of Law and is interested in immigrant rights. Prior to attending BU, she worked in political organizing and constituent services.

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