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Volunteer spotlight: Nancy Curran

January 12, 2021

For nearly 20 years, Nancy Curran has demonstrated her dedication to Canal Alliance and to Marin’s immigrant community by serving as the Canal Alliance Citizenship Class instructor. Through her volunteer service, Nancy has helped countless clients become U.S. Citizens by giving them the knowledge and confidence they need to pass the Citizenship exam. 

Canal Alliance volunteer, Nancy Curran
Nancy Curran, Canal Alliance Citizenship Class Instructor

We are excited to announce that Nancy has been nominated for Volunteer of the Year at the 28th Annual Heart of Marin™ Awards. We’re so proud of Nancy and all that she has accomplished over the years, the nomination is well deserved! 

Nancy works closely with the Immigration Legal Services Department at Canal Alliance to coordinate all classes and also helps with class registration, carefully ensuring that clients have enough knowledge of English to feel comfortable taking the class.  

For all students who participate in our Citizenship classes, English is their second language, and students make a huge effort to succeed in passing this exam to become U.S. citizens. During the past year, Nancy has helped dozens of clients. Over the course of her 20-year tenure as a Canal Alliance volunteer, hundreds (if not thousands) of clients have become U.S. citizens because of Nancy’s efforts and dedication. 

Nancy’s students have always expressed how wonderful and patient she is. One of her students told us that she has never met a teacher as dedicated to her students. This student also takes other classes at Canal Alliance and expressed how grateful she was to have Nancy as her teacher. This is just one of dozens of students who have expressed how grateful they are for the motivation and dedication Nancy has provided.   

As a result of Nancy’s efforts at the Citizenship Class instructor, many new U.S. citizens are now contributing not only to the national economy, but as more deeply engaged residents of our local community. 

We asked Nancy a few questions about her nomination as Volunteer of the Year: 

How does it feel to be nominated? 

“I am honored to be nominated.  I did not expect this!” 

What do you want people to know about your volunteering? 

“I loved volunteering for the Citizenship Class with the wonderful and motivated students at Canal Alliance. The purpose of the class was to prepare students for their citizenship interview.  This included taking dictation and answering questions about history, government, geography and civics. In addition to using our textbook, we played lots of games, interviewed each other, did crossword puzzles and other activities. This was fun and, I hope, helped students have less fear when interviewed. I looked forward to each lesson and figuring out how to help each student master the parts of the interview! The Canal Alliance was so great getting supplies, a room, updated information whenever I needed it. I really appreciated this.” 

What do you want people to know about Canal Alliance? 

“Canal Alliance is an amazing organization that provides the community with fabulous support in many areas.  The legal department fills out citizenship applications and is available to help the community in any way it can.  Education is available at all levels:  ESL classes, computer classes, and college prep classes. They notify the community of things like employment opportunities and the 2020 Census.  These are only a few areas that the Canal Alliance has improved so many lives of those living in the Canal!” 

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