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CITIZENSHIP

COALITION

Helping Immigrants Become Americans

WHAT WE DO

The Citizenship Coalition is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing free tutoring to immigrants applying for American citizenship, which requires an interview and test by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Our volunteer tutors help immigrants applying for citizenship by meeting with them remotely using phones and computers. We explain everything someone needs to know for their USCIS interview and help them practice for the big day. Any immigrant working with us can get as much or as little tutoring as they need at no cost on a flexible schedule to help them prepare for this final step in the naturalization process. 

WHO WE ARE

The Citizenship Coalition is a nationwide network of volunteers who stand as allies to immigrants from all corners of the world hoping to make America their new home. The organization is led by a team with many years of experience helping immigrants become American citizens.

Mark Kukis

Mark is the Citizenship Coalition founder and director. Mark has volunteered as a citizenship classroom instructor and tutor for St. Mark Community Education Program in Boston since 2021. He has also volunteered as an adult literacy instructor for the Washington Literacy Council in Washington, D.C. Mark holds a PhD in history from Boston University and is a professor at Minerva University. Originally from Texas, Mark lives in the Boston area with his wife and two children.

Peg Toro

Peg serves as vice president on the Citizenship Coalition board of directors. She has been a citizenship teacher, tutor and volunteer trainer and coordinator for St. Mark Community Education Program since 2016. She lives in Boston.

Jack Donnelly

Jack serves as the treasurer on the Citizenship Coalition board of directors. He has been a citizenship teacher, tutor and coordinator for the St. Mark Community Education Program since 2020. Jack lives in the Boston area with his amazing wife, and with his awesome children (son, daughter-in-law, and daughter) and 2 wonderful grand-daughters close by.

Mike Oliver

Mike serves as president on the Citizenship Coalition board of directors and has been the executive director of St. Mark Community Education Program in Boston since 2013.

Simon Ringrose

Simon serves as the secretary on the Citizenship Coalition board of directors. Simon is an experienced financial services sales professional who became a U.S. citizen in April 2017. Simon volunteers as an instructor with St. Marks Community Education Program and with East Boston’s Allies for Immigrants in addition to serving on the board of directors for Project Citizenship.

CITIZENSHIP BENEFITS

Every year approximately 9 million legal permanent residents are eligible to become citizens of the United States. However, less than 10 percent undertake the naturalization process, which can be costly, confusing and intimidating. The Citizenship Coalition works to increase the number of successful applications for U.S. citizenship by supporting immigrants with individualized help. Citizenship offers a variety of benefits and protections for immigrants who complete the naturalization process. New American citizens can vote, safely bring family members to the United States, avoid deportation, travel with a U.S. passport, apply for federal jobs and run for office. Moreover, immigrants who become citizens earn between 50 and 70 percent more than non-citizens. New Americans have higher employment rates and are half as likely to live below the poverty line as non-citizens. Naturalization allows eligible immigrants to join American society fully, strengthening communities, improving the economy and enriching U.S. culture. 

VOLUNTEER

Volunteering as a citizenship tutor is easy. All tutoring is done remotely. You can arrange tutoring sessions at mutually convenient times with your citizenship applicant. Training involves reading a tutor handbook and attending an orientation session led by a team member. Volunteers can get additional training and guidance on tutoring as needed. You don’t need prior experience with any kind of tutoring or any knowledge of the naturalization process. We will teach you everything you need to know and provide all the materials needed for tutoring. And you will have a volunteer coordinator available to answer any questions at any point. More than 90 percent of applicants pass the USCIS citizenship test. In most cases, immigrants facing the test need just a little review of the questions they will be asked and some encouragement. The USCIS test can be quite intimidating for many, and one of the most important aspects of tutoring is simply being a source of warmth and support for immigrants taking a major step in their lives. 

 

Sign up below for a truly rewarding volunteer experience. The time commitment is flexible. Tutoring engagements vary in terms of frequency and duration. But generally volunteer tutors will meet for one or two hours per week with their citizenship applicants, who tend to access tutoring in the weeks and months prior to their USCIS appointment. However, volunteers who want to be more active can do so by working with more than one person preparing for the test. Please indicate in the form below how much you would like to volunteer, and a coordinator will work with you on a schedule.

GET TUTORING

Immigrants applying for U.S. citizenship can get a free tutor at any stage of the process. All tutoring is done by video calls. You can work with one tutor or multiple tutors, depending on your preference. Tutors will meet with you at a mutually convenient time arranged together. Fill out the form below to get matched with a free tutor who will help you throughout the citizenship process.

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