Making Democracy Work

Citizenship Mentoring

Citizenship Mentoring is non-partisan and aims to assist eligible permanent residents prepare for US Citizenship. Citizens participate in the democratic process by exercising their right to vote; only citizens can vote in federal, New York State, and local elections. The League of Women Voters believes in promoting the democratic process.

Citizenship Mentoring Group for October

The Citizenship Mentoring Group program is ready to open October 3! Our students are Legal Permanent Residents who are preparing for their US Citizenship Interview and Exam. A training session for program volunteers was held on Tuesday, September 19. We have a wonderful group of dedicated volunteers who will be teaching classes, working one-on-one with students and/or will be holding English conversation groups to build conPidence in listening to and speaking English. Posters and Plyers about the program have been distributed throughout the Schenectady library system, and Ann Hatke talked about the program to the adult ESL students at the Washington Irving Center on September 20.

Citizenship Mentoring

We are so excited to have the opportunity to serve our community by providing citizenship preparation classes. It all started when Martha Butler, Director of the Office for New Americans (ONA) in Albany, recently met with interested league members and talked about the difficulties faced by many legal residents who wish to become U.S. citizens.

In typical league fashion, we felt there was no reason why we, as the Schenectady LWV, couldn't take action, and so the Citizenship Mentoring Group was formed! We organized a core group to study the area of the greatest need, what we can reasonably offer with the limited resources we have, and how to actually provide the service. We do not have any outside sources of income; these classes are solely funded by the Schenectady LWV. Thanks to the Schenectady County Public Library system, we were able to obtain the use of a room at the Bornt Library, 948 State Street. This location is easily accessible for anyone interested in taking advantage of our classes which will focus on helping eligible residents prepare for the naturalization interview and test. We are planning on holding weekly classes for an 8 to 10 week period starting in October. Dates will be announced later.

If you are interested in learning more about citizenship through naturalization, there are ample resources and information on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website:. There is even a sample USCIS Naturalization and Test Video which explains the process.

Citizenship Mentoring Group Update

A well-attended one-hour information session for interested volunteers for the Citizenship Mentoring Group was held on June 20 at the Phyllis Bornt Library. Cheryl Nechamen presented an overview of the program to seventeen attendees, touching on the topics of what's involved in becoming a US citizen, the roles and responsibilities of teachers, mentors, and conversation group mentors, the many free resources available to them, and the beneXits of becoming a volunteer.

Ann Hatke will hold the first training session, required for volunteers, on Tuesday, September 19 from 2:00 - 4:00 pm at the Phyllis Bornt Library. If needed, an additional session will be held the following week on September 26 at the same time and place. In addition, the Citizenship Mentoring Group Committee will meet in August as it continues to fine-tune this new program. The Mentoring Group program will officially begin on October 3. If you're interested in volunteering, and would like to attend the training session, please contact Ann Hatke at

(If you are volunteering as a conversation group mentor, you will not need to stay for the whole training session.)

We hope to see you there.

If you have any questions or need any additional information call

Ann Hatke, Coordinator

Citizenship Mentoring Group

518-346-1584 or

Citizenship Mentoring Group Update

The Citizenship Mentoring Group received wonderful news this week! The Washington Irving Adult and Continuing Education Center expressed great interest in our program, and invited us to make a presentation to their students early this Fall. Washington Irving is part of the Schenectady City School District and many of their students are ESL learners who are interested in obtaining their US Citizenship.

League Members: If you have any contacts with our immigrant community, we hope you'll let them know about our program that begins October 3. We'd be happy to supply you with Elyers about our classes, one-on-one tutoring, and conversation groups. Contact Ann Hatke at 518-346-1584 or