EILS Newsletter: May 2019

#EsperanzaNews, EILS Newsletter, Featured
From the Desk of Walter Toliver, SVP and General Counsel

We want you to know that EILS is looking forward to a bright future. EILS has served more than 1,200 clients over the last 10 years. As we begin the next decade of our mission, we are more dedicated than ever to our clients and to you. We hope you will join EILS as we look forward to the future.

At EILS, we commit ourselves to a client-first approach based in Hunting Park’s neighborhood. We especially look to aid and support immigrants in Philadelphia as the current administration subjects them to far higher scrutiny.

EILS is about bringing hope and opportunity to our clients. We’ll continue to advocate for immigrants who petition for citizenship, and file Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and U-VISA applications. We will act as an ally to our community as more immigrants apply for citizenship and work to achieve their dreams.

Thank you for supporting us at EILS, and for believing in our mission. Join me in celebrating the beginning of our 10-year anniversary by making a gift to advance hardworking immigrants today!

Walter Toliver
Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Ken George, Longest Serving Board Member, Dedicates Himself to EILS’ Board of Directors

Kenneth George has served on the Esperanza Immigration Legal Services board for almost 8 years. As its longest-serving board member, he understands commitment. Serving immigrant communities requires resilience and dedication. EILS couldn’t lead the way without supporters like Ken by our side.

Ken George retired about 10 years ago and knew he wanted to aid immigrants in his community. He’s passionate about making Philadelphia a better place and lives out this commitment with board service. In addition to EILS, he serves on the board of Orion Communities, devoting himself to immigration causes for nearly 30 years.

While Ken is the only non-lawyer on EILS’ board, he brings 30 years’ experience as a lay professional at American Baptist Home Mission Societies. Ken first engaged in immigration issues as the Director of American Baptist’s immigration Services and Refugee Resettlement Program.

Ken and EILS have grown together this past decade, to serve more than 1200 clients in the Philadelphia area.

Ken keeps returning to the EILS board because, as he says, “of my deep admiration for the outreach that EILS maintains in the community but also for all that Esperanza does for the underserved in North Philadelphia.”

EILS expects to expand its outreach. “It is absolutely critical that there are those who both advocate for and provide services to all immigrants,” as Ken said. We really appreciate how much Ken contributes to EILS, and we wouldn’t be able to serve this community without him!

Citizenship Spotlight: Alejandra Achieves U.S. Citizenship Thanks to EILS

Alejandra arrived in the United States from the Dominican Republic approximately six years ago, in search of a better life for herself and her children. Alejandra knew citizenship was a critical part of creating a better life. With EILS’s support, Alejandra achieved her dream and became a proud citizen of the United States.

In the United States, Alejandra first lived near family in New York but struggled to provide for herself and her children. She lived for 5 years as a legal permanent resident (LPR) and moved just a few years ago with her children to Philadelphia, knowing no one in the area.

Alejandra decided to work with EILS to apply for citizenship. She appreciated that EILS explained her path to citizenship thoroughly every step of the way. “Everyone at EILS made me feel so comfortable. Every time I came in, it felt like family,” Alejandra said.

When Alejandra struggled to pass the civics portion of the citizenship test, she refused to give up. EILS guided Alejandra through her studies and she passed her second citizenship exam.

Alejandra believes that citizenship is the best way to truly experience the freedoms available in the United States. We hope you make a gift to EILS so that more immigrants like Alejandra can achieve their dream!

Support EILS and Hunting Park’s Immigrants Today

Thank you for all you’ve done for us this year. We’re so thankful that you’ve invested in EILS and helped immigrants in the Philadelphia region. You have acted as the driving force behind our mission to serve the ‘least of these.’ You ensured hardworking immigrants could pursue the American dream of citizenship this year.

We’re not done yet! As EILS reaches its 10-year anniversary, we know there is much to be proud of, and we know we can accomplish so much more with your prayers and support. We continue to advocate for immigrants so they may live out their dreams. Your contributions transform lives each and every day. Thank you for making a gift today!