Immigrant Voices

Clara Blanco-Herrada: A Survivor’s Guide to Citizenship

IIBA client Clara Blanco-Herrada embodies the phrase, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” With the devaluation of the Mexican peso, in the mid-1990s, Clara’s life turned upside down. Her family lost their business and property in the recession, so they immigrated to the U.S., in search of new...

Volunteer: Stephen Filios

When Stephen Filios is not teaching Foundations of Science for Brigham Young University Idaho’s online program, hevolunteers in IIBA’s citizenship preparation classes. “I have always had an interest in working with people from different cultures,” says Stephen, so he stepped up to teach IIBA’s San Francisco class in the...

Staff Attorney: Sara MacPherson

The Dilley, Texas Detention center houses up to 2400 immigrant children and women who have fled their home countries in search of safety.  It is the largest immigrant family detention center in the United States located in a remote area in Southern Texas. The Corrections Corporation of America (CCA)...

Citizenship Student: Sarah A.

During the presidential election, IIBA client Sarah A. closely followed the nominees’ stances on immigration. Sensing unrest, she began the citizenship application process. The daughter of Yemeni parents, Sarah lived in the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom before moving to the U.S., where she lives with her...

Protecting and Serving his Community

Javier is the first member of his family to graduate from college, with a degree in criminal justice from San Jose State University, and plans of becoming a police officer one day. His aspirations of protecting and serving his community stem from the many struggles he faced growing up.  ...

Overcoming Illiteracy at the Age of 60

For the first 60 years of Maria’s life, Maria was illiterate; neither able to read or write in any language. As a restaurant cook she would routinely watch and memorize how the other cooks prepared and cooked the dishes on the menu, in order to keep her job. “I...

Make America Colorful Again Campaign

In a span of 30 days, Joey Yang’s online campaign, Make America Colorful Again, received 260 donations and raised a total of $7,344. All proceeds benefit IIBA and the Bay Area immigrant communities we serve. Joey’s goal was to help immigrants secure their lives in the U.S. by becoming...

Client: Marielle Coeytaux-Britton

After living in the United States for 31 years, Marielle Coeytaux-Britton can proudly call herself a U.S. citizen. Marielle took her oath of allegiance this past spring. She was recognized by the Napa County Board of Supervisors this past July, for successfully becoming U.S. citizens.   As an IIBA...

Volunteer: Sarah Ribbers

As an undergraduate at UCLA, Sarah Ribbers volunteered in a mentorship program called Latinas Guiding Latinas, in East Los Angeles. Working with and encouraging young Latinas to pursue higher education inspired Sarah to seek a career as a teacher. Sarah now teaches English as a Second Language (ESL) in...

Board President: Jennifer Beckett

Jennifer Beckett moved to San Francisco in 1989, just in time for the Loma Prieta earthquake. Undeterred by the rattling landscape, she settled in and made this city, and IIBA, her home. Jennifer joined the Board of Directors in 1990, attracted by “IIBA’s mission and programs,” which “facilitate citizenship...