My work as a volunteer interpreter at the SIJS Project has helped me to feel like I am doing more than just impotently watching the Trump administration wage war against immigrants. Being able to personally assist four Honduran young people obtain SIJS status was deeply rewarding. I know that this small effort on my part will, in fact, change their life chances going forward. As I accompanied these young people through the many phases of obtaining SIJS I was able to feel their struggles and frustrations as my own; when we left family court with their signed court orders in hand, I also felt their immense relief and elation.
The SIJS Project runs on the relationships created between volunteers and youth and we believe New York City is transformed by the whole community coming together to support each other. There are a few well-defined volunteer roles below, but if you have other skills you would like to contribute, don't hesitate to reach out. Our next cohort of volunteers will start in the late Spring / early Summer, with applications taking place in the Spring.
In-person work will primarily take place in the Bronx for now - but depending on the young people and the volunteers we may do some work in Manhattan. Please sign up so you can be informed of the specific opportunities.
Commitment: In-person, approximately once a week, for a minimum of 8 months
Our youth advocates are committed, long-term volunteers working directly with youth. We screen our applications to ensure we have the right match. We're looking for people who are organized, patient, empathetic, and non-judgmental. People with experience navigating bureaucracy and working with youth experience is a plus. We prioritize people of colour and immigrants. We also need half of our youth advocates to be bilingual (ideally Spanish and English, but others are welcome to apply). We also support you through mandatory training, and ongoing opportunities to learn, grow, and connect with each other!
The work involves:
Work directly with young people helping them file for SIJS, navigate New York City, and empower them to own their immigration journeys
Problem-solve issues as they request help - whether it's navigating the shelter system, getting an ID NYC, etc.
Work alongside lawyers to ensure the youth get SIJS
Interested? Sign up below to be notified when the applications are open.
Commitment: One-off, in-person and by phone.