Helping Others Help Themselves

Nancy Kral BAA volunteer

Nancy Kral and other volunteers help LPRs complete their citizenship applications

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.”

Posted on June 16, 2016

Our Impact

  • The Campaign has completed over 3,700 naturalization workshops and clinics.
  • Over 250,000 citizenship applications completed since July 2011.

    Saved aspiring citizens and their families over $206million in legal and application fees.
  • Adopted scalable technology. MP3 players, Google Voice, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services are being used to enhance naturalization service delivery.
  • Expanded New American Workforce (an effort to provide naturalization assistance within corporations) which has partnered with over 100 businesses across the nation, ranging from hotels in Miami to American Apparel in Los Angeles.
  • Deployed Citizenshipworks, an online tool, across the Campaign in multiple settings and languages. A newly redesigned platform guides applicants through through their citizenship application from start to finish and connects applicants to legal help at partnering non-profits.
  • Were instrumental in inspiring the US Citizenship and Immigration Service to support the Citizenship Corners initiative.
  • Created innovative partnerships with public libraries, school districts, universities, social service agencies, and employers, all of which yield not only greater numbers of applicants but also greater awareness of the naturalization process.
  • Deployed a large-scale volunteer recruitment program through an e-learning course.

    Reached diverse communities. Local partners consistently outreach and provide culturally competent and language-appropriate services.
Learn more from our
Impact Report.

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Who We're Helping

People come to America from all over the world with dreams of achieving a better life for themselves and their families and calling this great nation home. Eight million people who live, work, and pay taxes in this country are eligible for citizenship, yet only about eight percent of them naturalize each year. Find out more about these individuals and the barriers they face.Read More