CLINIC’s Years of Service Awards: 2021 Recipients

Each year CLINIC recognizes dedicated legal immigration professionals at the Years of Service of Service Awards. Please help us celebrate the following recipients! CLINIC, our network and your community all join together in saying “Thank you for your hard work and dedication to immigration and advocacy!”


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    Mother Magda Garcia

    35 Years of Service
    Casa Reina

    Mother Magda has worked with immigrants serving as translator, teacher, and serving most of the time without financial rewards. She serves the poor as much as possible.

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    Lorna Tran

    35 Years of Service
    Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri

    During her 40 years with Refugee and Immigration Services, and particularly since becoming the Director in 2006, Lorna has grown these two programs exponentially. For this reason, in late 2020, the two programs from the past that were merged together and functioned quite well with a single director were split into two separate offices, each with their own director. Lorna is now the full time Immigration Services director and an additional director was named for the Refugee Resettlement Services.

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    Alice Loethen

    30 Years of Service
    Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri

    Alice has worked for Refugee and Immigration Services for over 30 years. In this time, Alice has devotedly helped countless refugees and immigrants with all of their Immigration needs. We all appreciate her tremendously!

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    Santa E. Acuna

    25 Years of Service
    Diocese of Brownsville Immigration Services

    She is always willing to help the community. A great boss always helping her staff to learn immigration laws.

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    Kimberly Ann George

    25 Years of Service
    Catholic Charities of New Hampshire

    Attorney Kimberly Ann George has been a pro bono legal counsel at Catholic Charities New Hampshire for the past 25 years. Currently she is a Managing Attorney of the Immigration Legal Services Department, where she mentors new attorneys, directors the legal team, and zealously advocates for our clients. Attorney George is credited with setting up our legal department and training her team to lead with compassion and respect. Attorney George is a great example of someone who has dedicated their life to social justice work. Her devotion to Immigration and Catholic Charities for the past 25 years is a great example of this.

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    Raquel Brown

    20 Years of Service
    Center for Employment Training

    Raquel Brown's true passion is helping others and she has been working as an accredited representative since June 2000. Things came full-circle for her as she started working in the fields with her parents at the age of nine and, subsequently, with the help of a local non-profit organization, obtained her green card through the Special Agricultural Workers Program under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1996.

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    Douglas Interiano

    20 Years of Service
    Proyecto Inmigrante ICS, Inc.

    Douglas D. Interiano is the Legal Director and Founder of Proyecto Inmigrante Immigration Counseling Services, Inc., a prominent non-profit immigration legal services provider with offices in Irving-Dallas, Texas, Fort Worth, Texas, and Wichita Falls, Texas. Under his direction, Proyecto Inmigrante has assisted over 100,000 families from over 55 countries, in over 6 states across the United States. Interiano is frequently invited to speak at various forums at the local, national, and international level on matters related to U.S. Immigration Law and Human Rights for immigrant families.

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    Isabel Otero

    20 Years of Service
    Catholic Charities of Albuquerque

    With over 30 years of experience working at Catholic Charities of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, N.M., and more than 20 years working in the immigration law field, Isabel is a Fully Accredited DOJ Representative who has served the migrant community of Albuquerque faithfully. She brings knowledge, humor, and insight to the work. We celebrate and appreciate her service!

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    Senad Music

    20 Years of Service
    Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri

    Working with our Refugee and Immigration Services for almost 22 years, Senad mainly handles our refugee, asylee and secondary migrant Immigration needs. He has also been recently named as the Associate Director of Refugee Resettlement Services.

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    Glenda Solis

    20 Years of Service
    Center for Employment Training

    Glenda Solis has been passionately working with the immigrant community since July 1999, and she has been an accredited representative since 2002. Mrs. Solis' passion to serve others is very valuable for our community. She is a proud immigrant from El Salvador, and as an immigrant she understands the importance of providing high quality immigration services. She has assisted many family members to be reunited and that is her greatest satisfaction.

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    Nonna Coager

    15 Years of Service
    Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma

    For 15 years, Nonna has been assisting refugees and immigrants from different countries and has been one of the leaders of the Russian speaking community. From March 2006 to March 2015 she worked at the YWCA Multicultural Center, Tulsa, OK, and from March 2015 to present she works at Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Tulsa, Okla. Nonna has extensive knowledge and experience working at a high professional level on various family-based petitions, consular processes, fiancé(e) petitions, naturalization/citizenship, and more. Nonna is the most exacting and persistent team member. She thoroughly researches every issue and prepares every case to ensure each immigrant she represents obtains the benefit they are eligible for. Most importantly, Nonna has a compassionate heart and she is very dedicated to her clients. She is well-respected in the community and she does her job with honesty and dignity.

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    Karolyn Hopper

    15 Years of Service
    World Relief Tri-Cities

    Working as an Accredited Representative for World Relief Tri-Cities, Karolyn Hopper exemplifies he ideals of professionalism and compassion that first called her to this vocation. She has meticulously and passionately served nearly a thousand clients over the past 15 years. Working for a non-profit, and serving the most vulnerable members of our society, Karolyn has selflessly given of her time and energy striving to provide the best possible legal assistance to her clients. As she nears retirement, Karolyn has taken it upon herself to train the next generation of immigration advocates, spending countless hours helping other staff members apply for accreditation so they can continue to provide a much needed service to the people of Southeastern Washington.

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    Voffee Jabateh

    15 Years of Service
    African Cultural Alliance of North America (ACANA)

    Voffee Jabateh, Liberian, is the CEO and founder of the African Cultural Alliance of North America, a non-profit organization founded in 1999. Using his Social Worker skills, he started the organization with arts and culture programs; and extended ACANA's services to Health screenings, Emergency food assistance, after school programs, Immigration, and Legal services, etc.

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    Iraida Martinez

    15 Years of Service
    Catholic Charities Bureau, Inc.

    Her commitment, her passion for serving, her high standards. Iraida is the most professional person I've worked with in my life. As the program director of the Immigration Department. Iraida strives daily to provide each and every client with exceptional immigration legal services. Iraida is an accredited representative qualified and recognized by the Department of Justice. Iraida is devoted to serving others and her community and is active in her every area of her life. She is a wonderful mother, professional and caring boss, and active whenever a volunteer is needed. Iraida is never idle, she is always working and serving.

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    Mihaela Elena Sandu

    15 Years of Service
    Multicultural Self-Sufficiency Movement

    Mihaela Sandu has been working for MSM as immigration program director since May 2006. During this time she has managed government contracts, trained and supervised staff from diverse cultural backgrounds, provided direct immigration and naturalization services, built and maintained relationships with diverse immigrant and refugee communities, and collaborated with government and non-government service agencies to maximize community resources for clients. Ms. Sandu is known in the immigrant community for her expertise in the immigration field and her ability to resolve complex issues. MSM is happy to have her lead our immigration team.

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    Marisol Canales

    10 Years of Service
    Catholic Migration Services

    Marisol has extended a great deal of compassion to her clients over her many years in immigration services.

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    Sister Elizabeth Garcia

    10 Years of Service
    En Camino Migrant and Immigrant Outreach

    Sr. Elizabeth trained for three years in the En Camino office under Mary Torres at St. Peter and Paul parish. She became partially accredited in June of 2018 and ministered in the En Camino office with Sr. Mary Jo Toll in the Adelante extension office and in the St. Wendelin office.

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    Matthew Gillhouse

    10 Years of Service
    MMG Law LLC
    Since 2011, he has been dedicated to representing immigrant families in immigration law cases. He has extensive experience working with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Thanks to his community work and dedication, Atty. Matthew was recognized as one of the 2018 Leaders in Law in Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Law Journal. In 2014, Atty. Matthew opened the monthly "MMG Law Free Clinic" program, to provide free immigration legal services, in multiple locations across Wisconsin. He also volunteers in monthly free programs/clinics in Dane County providing pro-bono services in CILC (Community Immigration Law Clinic) in Madison, Wis., and The Sunshine Place’s Free Legal Clinic in Sun Prairie, Wis. Currently, Atty. Matthew serves as a Board Member of the Community Immigration Law Clinic and participates in a number of community committees to assist providers, colleagues and families in need of legal advice in the immigration field.
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    Sister Andrea Inkrott

    10 Years of Service
    Project Hope-Proyecto Esperanza

    Sister Andrea Inkrott's passion for charity and justice for the Hispanic people has led her to serve among them from 1975-1982 in the San Cristobal Diocese in Chiapas, Mexico; 1985-1999 in the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio; 1999-2002 in the Diocese of Charlotte, N.C.; and later from 2002-2010 holding the position of Director of Hispanic Ministry in the diocese. Since 2010 she has served immigrants from various countries at Project Hope-Proyecto Esperanza in Archbold, Ohio: 2010- 2014 on the Board of Directors; 2011-2021 in the legal ministry of Project Hope beginning as volunteer (part-time), to full-time staff, to DOJ Accredited Representative (partial) granted on May 23, 2016.

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    Rev. Robert Ippolito, M.S.

    10 Years of Service
    Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Raleigh

    Rev. Robert Ippolito, M.S. started working for Catholic Charities, Diocese of Raleigh, as an Accredited Representative in 2011. He has worked tirelessly over the last ten years, taking on various types of cases, some a first for Catholic Charities. Ordained in 1973, he only came to the diocese of Raleigh after a 30-year career in the United States Air Force. He certified himself by taking CLINIC courses in 2011 both in person and online and then volunteered his services to Catholic Charities. He continues to this day with great devotion and dedication to making the lives of immigrants better one person at a time.

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    Basra Mohamed

    5 Years of Service
    Catholic Charities of New Hampshire

    Basra Mohamed is the Managing Attorney for our Victims of Crimes Act (VOCA) grant. Through this grant, New Hampshire Catholic Charities serves vulnerable immigrant victims of crimes. The bulk of the work under this grant includes VAWA self-petitions, Removal of Conditions on Residence Abuse Waivers, U visas, and T Visas. Basra is also a Commissioner on the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights, as well as being a well-known expert in the state when it comes to assisting immigrant survivors of crimes.

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    Lilia Sandoval Guerrero

    5 Years of Service
    Center for Employment Training

    Lilia Sandoval Guerrero’s passion for immigration legal work stems from her own family whom emigrated from Mexico through her father. Just as someone helped him navigate the immigration system to bring his then-family of seven to the United States, Lilia strives to be that someone for immigrants in her community; helping them know their options and rights. For more than 6 years, Lilia has worked directly with community members and hopes to continue to be of service for many more.

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    Shashi Sharma

    5 Years of Service
    Saathi of Rochester, Inc.

    Dr. Sharma has been helping Saathi clients with immigration related issues since 2015. Saathi is a member of the New York Immigration Coalition and Catholic Legal Immigration Network. Dr. Sharma regularly attends training courses offered by these organizations. Since November 2018 she volunteers at Catholic Family center to further enhance her skills in dealing with complex immigration issues.

    Dr. Sharma is a community leader having served as the President of the Hindu Temple of Rochester and the India Community Center. She is a well-known physician (ob-gyn) in the community. In June 2016, she completed her Acupuncture training for physicians provided by Harvard Medical School in Boston and on 9/6/16 she obtained her NYS License to practice Acupuncture in addition to her OB-GYN practice.

    Dr. Sharma is the Founder of Saathi and has been a Member of the Board of Directors of Saathi ever since its inception in 2004. During the first 5 years of Saathi and since 2016, she has been the President of Saathi. She is extremely dedicated to helping the victims of Domestic Violence, and training the Saathi counselors. Her services to Saathi clients are totally voluntary.