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Literacy Network Launches Matthew and Hannah Keator Family Scholarship for New Americans

Lee, Mass. (January 30, 2019) — The Literacy Network of South Berkshire (LitNet) launches Berkshire County’s first scholarship program to support immigrants in their pursuit of U.S. citizenship, thanks to a grant from the Matthew and Hannah Keator Family Foundation.

“The pursuit of U.S. citizenship is an admirable and worthy cause,” said Matthew Keator. “Hannah and I are inspired by the efforts of LitNet students, and we are pleased to know that this scholarship program will reduce the financial burden associated with naturalization and provide the educational support applicants need to realize their dreams.” Applicants for the Matthew and Hannah Keator Family Scholarship for New Americans will be able to seek financial support in obtaining legal services during the screening and application process, as well as direct support to defray the cost of the federal naturalization application. Scholarship recipients will also be assigned a trained tutor from LitNet, who will work one-on-one with the applicant to prepare for the culmination of the naturalization process–the civics and literacy exams. The scholarship will support approximately six new citizens annually. LitNet will begin accepting applications on February 1, 2019.

The grant from Matthew and Hannah Keator has been transformative for our citizenship efforts. This scholarship is just one component of the Keator Family Foundation’s support,” explained Jennifer Vrabel, the executive director of LitNet. This past fall, LitNet enhanced its website with comprehensive citizenship resources, purchased new books and materials dedicated to naturalization, and worked together with the Berkshire Immigrant Center in Pittsfield to host citizenship training for volunteer tutors to support the Berkshire immigrant community.