Local woman honored for contributions to democracy

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Ahead of next month's election, the League of Women Voters of South Bend honored a woman for her dedication to democracy.

“It’s really an honor and a privilege, honestly, to be working with people during this really important process in their lives,” La Casa de Amistad Citizen and Immigration Coordinator Nanci Flores said. “Most people that apply for citizenship are doing it for very strong reasons.”

Flores has been helping people for nearly 12 years. She holds classes for immigrants preparing to take the citizenship test.

“We have a 100 percent pass rate in our citizenship program in the 11 years since we started it, and that's because we know exactly what to do to help people prepare for that interview,” Flores said.

Flores’ success rate has led to nearly 800 new American citizens.

Wednesday night, Flores was honored for her dedication.

“It doesn't really feel like work to me to be awarded for something that just feels like something that I’m doing to contribute to the community, is pretty humbling,” Flores said.

The League of Women Voters of the South Bend Area presented Flores with this year's Making Democracy Work Award.

“We are about making democracy work, and that means bringing out newest residents and our newest citizens into the fold and to become full members of our society, and that is something that she has worked very diligently to do,” Director of Voter Services and Education Dr. Elizabeth Bennion said.

Flores was surprised to be awarded and said she will use the award as further motivation to increase voter turnout among new citizens.

“We really can't make an impact in policy or in the laws that affect us if we don't vote for the people who are creating those,” Flores said.

Many of the citizenship programs are taught by volunteers.

If you would like to volunteer at La Casa de Amistad, you can check out their website..