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 January/February 2019

Our 8-week citizenship preparation winter session will begin on Saturday, January 19 from 2:30-4:30 pm at the Phyllis Bornt Library. We have a number of students who have applied for citizenship and several have had their citizenship interviews scheduled, so this is a very exciting time for us! We're also looking forward to attending this year's monthly naturalization ceremonies in Schenectady where we'll be registering new citizens to vote. With that in mind, Ann Hatke will be applying for the 2019 New Citizens Voter Registration Grant from LWVUS, the same grant that we received in 2018. As always, if you'd like to be a part of the Citizenship Mentoring Group or attend the naturalization ceremonies, we'd love to have you. Contact Ann Hatke.

Citizen Mentoring Group December 2018

This Fall marks the one-year anniversary for the Citizenship Mentoring Group!
  • Nine students have passed their interviews and become new citizens.
  • We have held five 8-week class sessions and have made arrangements for the sixth, to begin January 19, 2019.
  • Our dedicated tutors continue to work with a number of students, and several of these students have applied for citizenship.
  • We received a 2018 LWVUS Education Fund Grant to register new citizens to vote.
  • Our volunteers have registered 156 new citizen voters at eight Naturalization Ceremonies in Schenectady, and given out an additional 56 voter registration forms at these events.
  • Our last Naturalization Ceremony for 2018 will be held Friday, November 16.
Happy Anniversary and thank you to our Citizenship Mentoring Committee: Connie Young, Judy Middelkoop, Johanna Petersen, and Cheryl Nechamen; and our tutors and helpers past and present: Stan Blanchard, Corinne Derry, Joan Elliott, Riley Hart, Walter Hatke, Janet Hutchison, Sally Knutson, Mary Leonard, Helen MacDonald, Judy Middelkoop, Cheryl Nechamen, Barbara Notch, Inge-Lise Pangburn, Johanna Petersen, Don Rabig, Anita Sanchez, Dick Shave, Mary Jane Shave, Nancy Thornton, Joanne Tobiessen, Linda and Bill Ward, Cindy Weissend, Heide Westergard, and Connie Young.

Citizen Mentoring Group November 2018

We were able to thank our citizenship volunteers at a party in their honor on October 3. We can't say it enough -- they are the backbone of the Citizenship Mentoring Group. Whether tutoring, helping out with the classes, or registering new citizens to vote at the monthly naturalization ceremonies -- they are always there. Many thanks!

The Fall class sessions began Saturday, October 6, with three students. Although we hope to gain a few more students for the class, we're delighted that we have a number of students who are continuing to or are beginning to work with our tutors.

The last naturalization ceremony of 2018 will be November 16. As always, if you'd like to attend as a volunteer, don't hesitate to contact Ann Hatkee.

Citizenship Mentoring Group News

The Citizenship Mentoring Group is looking forward to beginning our second year of citizenship preparation classes and one-on-one tutoring. Our Fall session will begin Saturday, October 6, and will be held as usual at the Phyllis Bornt Library and Literacy Center in Schenectady. We had a total of 11 students this summer, and 9 of those worked with our tutors! As always, thank you to all our dedicated volunteers who are working so diligently with our students.

We gained another new citizen through our program this summer, and five others are currently in the application process. We'll be registering new citizens at the next Naturalization Ceremony on September 21, who will then be ready to vote on November 6!

For additional information about the Citizenship Mentoring Group or to help at one of the monthly naturalization ceremonies, please contact Ann Hatke.

Citizenship Classes--fall 2018

Schedule for the fall citizenship mentoring classes

Session dates: October 6 - December 8

Time: 2:30 - 4:30 pm

Place: Phyllis Bornt Library and Literacy Center Address: 948 State Street - Schenectady Session Dates: October 6 - December 8

Registration: Saturday, Sept. 29, 1:00-3:00 pm & Tuesday, Oct. 2, 5:00-7:00 pm

Classes are free and all materials will be provided

One-on-One Tutoring also available

For more information contact Ann Hatke Citizenship Mentoring Group Coordinator League of Women Voters of Schenectady County

Citizenship Mentoring Report September 2018

This has been a busy but a very rewarding summer for our group. Ann Hatke just finished the fifth class of the summer session, with three more classes to go. We have a small class + only 3 + but they're a great trio! Although our class is a small one, we've had the largest group of students being tutored yet. Nine students signed up for tutoring this summer, including two who needed emergency tutoring with interviews pending. Cheryl Nechamen worked with one student daily, and we now have another new citizen thanks to her help. Cindy Weissend has been working on ways to help those citizenship students who are also challenged with learning disabilities. A big thank you to seven of our tutors who have been so generous with their time and efforts this summer. In addition to Ann, Cheryl and Cindy, we were helped by Janet Hutchison, Mary Leonard, Heide Westergaard and Bill Ward.

The Citizenship Mentoring Group Committee will be meeting later in August to discuss this past year and what we hope to accomplish in the coming months.

We've had 2 naturalization ceremonies this summer + June 22 and July 20, and another coming up on August 24. Since we began attending the ceremonies in March we've registered 91 new citizens, and given out an additional 28 forms. Thirty-two people also gave us their names so that we could contact them about voting and election information. If you'd like to help out at one of the ceremonies, they're wonderful events! Please email Ann Hatke.

Ann Hatke,Coordinator,Citizenship Mentoring Group

Citizenship Mentoring Overview

The Citizenship Mentoring helps legal residents prepare for US Citizenship. We do not have 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.