Veronica Serrato joined Project Citizenship in 2014 as its first Executive Director.
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. Melanie previously served on the Commission for Immigrant Rights and Citizenship for the City of Cambridge from 2016-2018.
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).
Pro Bono Programs Manager
Peter joined Project Citizenship as an NAIP AmeriCorps member in September 2016. Since August 2017, he oversees the pro bono relationships of Project Citizenship with Boston’s top law firms. His responsibilities include organizing citizenship workshops, representing clients at naturalization interviews, and coordinating pro bono opportunities for volunteer attorneys. Peter is an accredited Department of Justice representative. 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.
Community Programs Manager
Molly joined Project Citizenship in 2018 to oversee Project Citizenship’s outreach efforts. 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.
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.
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.
Dani joined Project Citizenship as an NAIP AmeriCorps fellow in the fall of 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 many of her family members immigrated to the United States from Italy during her lifetime, Dani believes passionately that immigrants make our country stronger.
AmeriCorps Legal Advocates of Massachusetts Fellow
Sarah joined Project Citizenship as an AmeriCorps Legal Advocate in January 2019 after graduating from Harvard Law School. Her primary responsibilities at Project Citizenship include navigating various legal aspects of the naturalization process, especially for disabled applicants, and organizing the representation of clients at naturalization interviews. During law school, Sarah worked primarily in criminal defense and prisoners’ rights. She saw how for many of her clients, regardless of the seriousness of the criminal charges they were facing, their immigration status was their biggest concern. She was inspired to join Project Citizenship in order to confront this challenge to her clients at its source, and because she believes that immigrants are essential to keep America’s communities and democracy thriving.
Milourdes Augustin joined Project Citizenship in the fall of 2018. She studied Communications and Media in school and has a strong passion for the arts and social justice. As an immigrant herself and a recipient of derivative citizenship, she is eager to do her part in helping folks navigate the complex system towards obtaining their citizenship.
Owen Diana joined Project Citizenship in the fall of 2018. Owen graduated from Oberlin College in 2017, majoring in Latin American Studies with a minor in Hispanic Studies. Since then, he has volunteered at numerous workshops with Project Citizenship as a Spanish translator. In addition to his volunteer work, Owen is the founder and editor of Just For Kicks, a blog about soccer around the world.
AJ joined Project Citizenship in the summer of 2019 as a Legal Intern. She is currently studying law at Boston University School of Law. She received a degree in English Literature from Wheaton College, where she had the opportunity to study abroad to Egypt and Vietnam. AJ comes to Project Citizenship with a background in teaching, having served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Indonesia, and as a Teach for America Corps member in her home state of Rhode Island. Prior to Project Citizenship, AJ focused her work on policy and legislation holding positions in the Congressional House of Representatives and serving as a policy associate for an education policy firm in Washington, DC.
Julie Hernandez joined Project Citizenship in the summer of 2019 as a Legal Intern. She is currently pursuing her Juris Doctor at Boston College Law School. Julie graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in History and International Studies in May 2018, where she focused on the influences of race and religion in the formation of the Caribbean identity. As the daughter of Cuban immigrants, she believes immigrants are invaluable members of our community and is thrilled to contribute to the cause.
Francelia joined Project Citizenship in 2019 as a summer Program Intern. She is a rising senior at Pitzer College with a major in Political Science and a minor in Spanish. Coming all the way from California to support the Boston immigrant community, she looks forward to helping with day-to-day tasks, as well as with our naturalization workshops. Following a semester of interning with an organization that focused on Central American asylum cases, she is excited to work with immigrants who are approaching the end of the immigration process and help them obtain their citizenship. Being an immigrant herself from Mexico, and growing up in an immigrant community, she understands the importance and the value that the immigrant community brings to this country and is looking forward to assisting our clients in their journey.
Haby Sondo is a rising junior at Boston University majoring in International Relations with a minor in Political Science on the Pre-Law Track. Haby was born and raised in The Bronx, New York City–a melting pot of immigrants from West Africa. Her own family immigrated from Burkina Faso. Growing up, she watched hardworking immigrants in her community navigate the complex immigration system in the United States. This upbringing fueled Haby’s desire to pursue a career in immigration law. As a Program Intern at Project Citizenship, she will assist with day-to-day office tasks as well as client support during the naturalization process. Haby aims to use the skills she learns this summer to provide immigration services in the future, which are scarce in her community. She hopes to continue to explore the immigration system through the lens of West African immigrants, and bring services similar to what Project Citizenship offers to her community in the Bronx and greater New York City.
Shams Mohajerani joined Project Citizenship in 2019 as a summer intern. His primary responsibilities include community outreach and sharing client stories through film and photography. Shams is a rising senior at Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT, and plans to graduate with a double major in Arabic and Film & Media Culture. During his spring 2019 semester he had the opportunity to study Arabic in Amman, Jordan at the University of Jordan. As the son of an immigrant father from Iran, Shams believes in the power of celebrating Boston’s immigrant community, and is excited for the chance to give back to his hometown city.
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