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Reflection: The Importance of Civic Engagement


July 2, 2018


My name is Katrina Figueroa and I studied in Political Science and Human Rights. I chose this area of study because I was interested in learning about how governments function. I wanted to work with LEAD Filipino’s Naturalization Ceremonies project because I am an immigrant myself and I would have loved to have gone to one of these ceremonies when my family and I became citizens. I want to be a small part of someone’s journey to becoming a citizen because I know how hard they worked and how long they waited for this moment.

Civic Participation is important to me because I want people to know that they can make a difference and their vote does matter. Whether it is voting for a city councilor, a mayor, or the President of the United States, every vote counts.

I want to get more Filipinos to vote so their voice is heard throughout their communities. I want there to be more Filipino representation in the government but in order to do that more Filipinos have to understand the importance of civic participation. Hopefully through my work in these Naturalization, the upcoming Know Your Rights Forum, and outreach to student organizations, I can inspire Filipinos to become more active in the community.

Being a part of the Naturalization Ceremony was very fulfilling!

When people started  walking out of the ceremony they all looked so happy!

Everyone was holding little American flags and one couple was even decked out in all American flag clothing. I helped them register and they were so thankful and excited to do it. I tried to say congratulations to as many people as I could and they all replied with a huge smile and thank you. One memorable interaction I had was with a Filipino woman whose dad had just became a citizen. I walked over and asked if they wanted to register to vote and they looked excited to see a fellow Filipino coming over to help them and thanked me multiple times for talking with them. It felt really good to know that all the people I helped really appreciated it.

In community,

Katrina Figueroa
Naturalization Ceremonies Organizer
LEAD Filipino

LEAD Filipino
LEAD Filipino

We are a nonprofit that organizes for FilAm civic participation, grassroots leadership and direct community action out of San Jose, California.

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