Citizenship, a Boston-based nonprofit that helps people achieve citizenship through free, high-quality legal and application services. Project Citizenship’s staff and volunteers work one-on-one with applicants from the initial application through to their life-changing oath.
I see parallels between their story and the people I work with at Project Citizenship all the time. One of my early volunteering experiences involved helping a woman from Haiti complete her citizenship application. She didn’t speak English, but she brought her teenage daughter with her to the appointment to translate. As we worked on the application together, I felt such a kinship with the daughter, having served as a translator for pivotal life events many times for my family members growing up.
A ’culture of giving back’
I was introduced to Project Citizenship through a previous job. When I began working at Liberty, I was pleasantly surprised at the culture of giving back. I immediately thought about Project Citizenship and how I could contribute to this culture of giving by forming a relationship between the nonprofit and Liberty. However, at the time, I was new to the team and didn’t know many people. Bringing the idea forward meant I had to speak up.
It was intimidating at first, but I knew it was a great opportunity to make things better and champion others in our community. From the moment I spoke up to the head of the pro bono program, I had support. Whether it was talking with my manager, team members, people I was working with or our Chief Legal Officer, everyone was open and willing to listen.
Through the Volunteer with Liberty Torchbearer program, more than 42 attorneys, paralegals and administrative personnel from the Legal team have volunteered with Project Citizenship over the last year.
No way of speaking up is too big or too small. When you let your values shape how you speak up and are authentic, it resonates with people. By acting responsibly and speaking up when I saw an opportunity to make things better, I feel a great sense of pride and have seen our Legal team come together to put people first.”