From left to right: Christopher Carpenter, Bob Gordon, Kelly Daniels, Justin Howell, Heloise Ahoure, and Ayaz Ahmed. Bob, Kelly, and Justin are all holding one large check for $1000 donated to the IRC in Atlanta. Christopher and Ayaz are each holding copies of the "Citizenship Prep" study guide.
In honor of Constitution and Citizenship Day (Sep 17) our incredible friends at Citizenship Giveback came out to the IRC in Atlanta office to present their first donation of book proceeds—an incredible $1,000—to support the IRC in Atlanta’s Adult Education programs.
Photo: IRC Atlanta

In honor of Constitution and Citizenship Day (Sep 17), our incredible friends at Citizenship Giveback came out to the IRC in Atlanta office to present their first donation of book proceeds—an incredible $1,000—to support the IRC in Atlanta’s Adult Education programs. 

An initiative of the IRC in Atlanta’s Citizenship Class volunteer leads—Bob Gordon and Kelly Daniels—Citizenship Giveback is a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that refugees and immigrants across the U.S. can access their incredible graphic study guide, Citizenship Prep: A Guide to Passing the U.S. Citizenship Test (now available on Amazon!) All proceeds from book sales go back towards providing more books and resources to new Americans who need them—including students in the IRC in Atlanta’s Citizenship and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes! 

Citizenship Prep: A Guide to Passing the U.S. Citizenship Test is available to buy on Amazon now! 

“I have a deep rooted, heartfelt compassion for refugees, as my partner of over 11 years was a refugee himself, from the Bosnian War,” shared Kelly. “It’s made me contemplate my own luck, for that’s all that separates me from these survivors of war, religious and political persecution, or natural disasters. Once you know better, it’s hard not to do better: I started teaching citizenship classes at IRC with Mr. Bob, we decided to create a better study guide for our ESL students, created a non-profit and are giving back 100% of the profits to an organization that means so much to me, my partner and all our students.” 

Kelly is an artist, business owner and first-generation American. Bob is a military veteran, retiree and lover of history and world travel. The dynamic pair met in early 2017, when Kelly began volunteering in the IRC in Atlanta’s free Citizenship Prep classes which Bob had launched and expanded himself more than a year prior. Bob and Kelly’s passion for their volunteer work is evident to all who know them, so it was no surprise to the IRC in Atlanta team when they announced they were creating a book to better meet the needs of their students. Written by Bob and Kelly and hand-illustrated by Kelly, the graphic study guide is based on their personal approach to learning that has helped dozens of students from around the world to pass their citizenship test so far.

"I remember reading somewhere that the secret to being lucky is recognizing when you have been,” shared Bob. “Being given the opportunity to help deserving people by the IRC was certainly lucky for me. Kelly and I being able to create the Citizenship Prep study guide was a part of that good fortune. The increased ability to help our students to become citizens—combined with the privilege of being able to donate the profits from our book, which will continue!—is the icing on the cake. The people with whom we work always made us feel essential. What a bonus!" 

The work we do here at the IRC in Atlanta would not be possible without our incredible community of supporters, and nowhere is this more evident than in our Citizenship Preparation classes—which simply could not happen without Bob and Kelly’s commitment to service. Continuously supported by many other dedicated IRC volunteers along the journey, the Citizenship classes have become a safe and welcoming space for many new Americans apprehensive about taking the U.S. citizenship test—the final step in so many immigrant journeys.

“By far, our students have taught us much more than we’ve taught them, opening our eyes to the world and expanding that space for love and compassion within our hearts,” shared Kelly. “In turn, all we can hope is that they find a little peace in their new lives, now having a place to call home.”  

The IRC in Atlanta’s Free Online Citizenship Classes are open for new students!    

Please contact our Adult Education Supervisor, Christopher Carpenter, at [email protected] or 770-710-8724 (call or text) to sign up today! Students from all backgrounds are welcome and classes take place online via Zoom at the following times: 

Download our Citizenship Class Flyer here—please share!  

Get Involved: 

 

To learn more about the work of the IRC in Atlanta and for information on how you can get involved with the IRC as a donor or volunteer, please contact Senior Development Manager, Heloise Ahoure, at [email protected] or 678-636-8941.

Stay connected to the IRC in AtlantaLike us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram for announcements and upcoming events!