Nancy Kral began working with immigrants in Texas when she volunteered with the League of Women Voters, helping new Americans register to vote at their naturalization ceremonies.
She was inspired by the thousands of people sworn in as new U.S. citizens each month.
“There are so many people that so strongly want to have the opportunity to live the American dream,” says Nancy. “I should appreciate my citizenship, my rights, the opportunities I’ve had. I’m very lucky. There are so many people working to do that.”
With that realization, Nancy connected with Bonding Against Adversity, a New Americans Campaign partner and local Houston nonprofit with one mission: to help people help themselves.
Nancy began volunteering with Bonding Against Adversity in 2012 and by helping applicants complete their naturalization applications, she’s helped nearly 40 green card holders achieve citizenship.
“I volunteer about once or twice a month and work with 3 to 4 applicants each time,” she says. “I have the aptitude and skill set to help, so why not? It’s been very rewarding and very interesting.”
Nancy is a retired professor, but she’s back at Lone Star College, running a program for active learners over the age of 50 who are preparing to go back to school. It turns out Nancy’s own personal mission is quite similar to Bonding Against Adversity’s.
“One thing I’m reminded of, especially because we seem so polarized right now, is that there’s only one race: the human race,” says Nancy. “We’re all in this together and I feel very compelled to help in any way I can. Anyone could be born in a different circumstance.”
Nancy is a mid-Westerner by birth and was raised in St. Louis, MO. She moved to Texas in high school, stayed for college and put down roots in the Houston area.
“I want to break the stereotype of southerners,” she says. “We’re very diverse, we just scream louder.”
Volunteering with Bonding Against Adversity gives her the opportunity to voice loudly what she stands for.
“I get frustrated with people who aren’t sympathetic for those trying to better themselves,” Nancy says. “I am so proud to help this organization. I can’t think of a better way to spend my time than to help people pursue their dreams.”