Volunteer Spotlight: Rose McGruddy

“I firmly believe that everyone deserves a chance to be free and be welcomed to this country. After all, many of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants too.”

For seven years, Rose McGruddy has volunteered at Just Neighbors both independently and through the Ignatian Volunteer Corp. She first found us at an immigration-related volunteer fair in 2015 when looking for a way to connect and give back to her community and immediately knew that we were the perfect match.

As a linguist and foreign language and ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) teacher, Rose was already well-versed in how to strengthen the bonds of our community and quickly became an incredible resource to Just Neighbors.

Since she first started, Rose has engaged with our staff, our clients, and our community in an endless number of ways. She has volunteered at various legal clinics and assisted clients in documenting their immigration journeys, answered our clients calls with our administrative team, screened potential clients for our attorneys, and been a kind and trustworthy translator for our Spanish speaking clients.

Now, Rose has become a major part of our volunteer team as an Ignatian Volunteer and is greatly appreciated by our staff, our clients, and her fellow volunteers for her kind and welcoming nature, her dedication to our community, and her incredible work.

Rose says that “volunteering at Just Neighbors has helped [her] to develop a strong, direct connection with the immigrant community in the DMV area and help in ways that make an impact.” While it might seem like only attorneys can help clients with immigration cases, Rose emphasized that the work our extraordinary volunteers do helps to reduce the burden on our attorneys and allows them to take on more cases. “We can help expedite the immigration process for both the clients and attorneys by acting as translators, capturing the clients’ stories, and organizing relevant information and documentation for the attorneys to review. At the end, this could lead to Just Neighbors being able to help more families.”

Truly a multi-cultural individual, Rose soon hopes to add Arabic to her language repertoire and is looking to be fluent soon! She also wishes to express her extreme gratitude to the Latin American people she met when she first finished college for their genuine and heartfelt kindness, which ultimately motivated her to become the skilled translator she is today.

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