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Volunteer spotlight – Nancy Curran

January 20, 2021

In recognition of her tremendous dedication and outstanding service, Canal Alliance was pleased to nominate Nancy Curran for Volunteer of the Year at the 28th Annual Heart of Marin™ Awards. For nearly 20 years, Nancy has demonstrated her dedication to Marin’s immigrant community by serving as the Canal Alliance Citizenship Class instructor. Through her volunteer service, Nancy has helped hundreds (if not thousands) of clients to become U.S. citizens by giving them the knowledge and confidence they need to pass the citizenship exam. 

As a volunteer, Nancy worked closely with the Immigration Legal Services Department at Canal Alliance to coordinate all classes. She also helped with class registration, carefully ensuring that clients have enough knowledge of English to feel comfortable taking the class.  

Canal Alliance volunteer, Nancy Curran
Nancy Curran

For all students who participate in citizenship classes at Canal Alliance, English is their second language. With Nancy’s support, students make a huge effort to succeed in passing the exam.  

Nancy’s students also frequently express how wonderful and patient Nancy is. One of her students told us that she has never met a teacher as dedicated to her students, 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. 

Canal Alliance extends warm wishes and tremendous gratitude to Nancy as she retires from her volunteer role as Citizenship Class Instructor after 20 years of service. 

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

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!” 

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 any way it can. Education is available at all levels: ESL 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 neighborhood.” 

How does it feel to be nominated for this award? 

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

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